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The business was previously an online company with a packing office in Poppleton Business Centre. They wanted to become part of a local community and subsequently run an online business from a retail store.
The business was founded by and run by, Matthew Doust.
Before True Tea, I had started a number of businesses including a hot tub hire company, clothing print company and my first business venture was a cleaning company which I would run by cycling around to office buildings with a trailer on the back of my bike as I could not drive. But before all of this, I did a master’s in Organisational Psychology.
I chose Harrogate as we use to do the Harrogate Monthly Farmer’s Market and we always received a lovely reception. We also regularly attend the Harrogate Flower Show and we had a stall at this years great Yorkshire Show.
With this, customers would tell us that they loved the stall as there was not a tea shop with such a wide selection of tea in Harrogate available.
With this, we decided to open a speciality tea shop in the centre of Harrogate and also because Harrogate is the mecca of tea.
The business sell loose-leaf tea and biodegradable tea bags in store with over 130 teas and accessories available.
We source our loose-leaf teas and herbal ingredients from all over the world including China, Japan, Africa and Europe. With our compostable tea bag material and tags also being manufactured and sourced from Japan.
We have a number of unique in-house blends such as our Earl Grey Rebel which is a blend of Assam black tea, blue flowers, orange peel and natural bergamot flavouring. This tea is classic earl grey with a zesty twist. Alongside this, our mint choc chip is a favourite which is made by mixing black tea, cocoa and peppermint together. It has a taste and aroma just like a Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream!
English Breakfast tea is by far the biggest selling tea, Matthew commented:
I think there is nothing wrong with just an English Breakfast, especially for a morning wake-me-up. However, it is lovely to spend your day experiencing different teas throughout the day and what mood you may be in. For example, a Lapsang Souchong is like a fine caramelised whiskey and can make you feel the comfort of a warm smokey fire on a cold evening. Whereas a rooibos tea is naturally caffeine-free and can be enjoyed at night or just before bed without the hassle of caffeine which can be found in an English Breakfast. Plus, you can enjoy the many health benefits of a green tea, rooibos tea or herbal tea.
Matthew says that the must-try is definitely The Best Night Time Tea ever which they have blended from various ingredients including Chamomile, Valerian, St John’s Wort, Peppermint, Nettle, Coconut. It’s a tea that has had great reviews from. The Turmeric Chai Kick which is a classic chai base with turmeric slices and red chili peppers in another that they say is one to try.
We received the shop from Stothard’s Pet Store as it used to be 1 large pet store but then it became 3 separate shops which provided us with the perfect opportunity to open a tea store affordably.
I renovated the store myself – laying and sourcing the wood floor, building the shop counter and tables with my partner filling in to help paint the walls and build the cabinets. It took over two months and many trips to the timber yard and late nights whilst balancing online, but it was worth it in the end.