With interest increasing in specialty tea, it should come as no surprise that more people are interested in starting a tea business. The Tea Association of the USA estimates that the industry here increased from $1.84 billion in 1990 to $6.85 billion in 2007, with an estimated 2400 specialty tea rooms and retail shops now open.
Nowadays there’s no shortage of resources for the would-be entrepreneur. Search for assistance on how to start a food and/or beverage business and the number of resources is going to dwindle a bit but is still substantial. If you’ve narrowed your focus to running a tea business, advice geared specifically to your needs falls sharply and is often tied in with advice for would-be coffee sellers.
It’s well beyond the scope of a brief article to get a would-be tea business owner on their way, but there are some great resources geared toward this goal. Perhaps the best tidbit of advice for anyone embarking on this journey – whether it’s opening a tea house, tearoom or an Internet-based or brick and mortar tea shop – would be know the subject thoroughly.
If you’re looking for more targeted advice on starting a tea business, try How to Open a Financially Successful Coffee, Espresso & Tea Shop, by Elizabeth Godsmark, Lora Arduser, and Douglas R. Brown. This work is obviously not solely focused on tea business, but it’s an excellent look at the practical side of embarking on such a venture. For a similar approach, try Start Your Own Coffee & Tea Store, from Prentice Hall Press.
For the latest on what’s happening in the tea (and coffee industry) there are two trade magazines that are a great resource. Fresh Cup and the Tea And Coffee Trade Journal are targeted to readers in the tea and coffee industry. Print subscriptions are available and selected articles and resources are posted at the magazines’ Web sites.
For information about an “online tea business school,” look here. For an overview of tea business planning, look here. Aspiring tea biz entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and West Virginia may want to take note of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association.
Check out William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks, for more great articles!