This holiday season, Ottawa Foodie Girlz is celebrating the 12 days of Christmas with a festive Q&A style blog series featuring one local business per day. We’ve spent the last few weeks connecting with local business owners and each day we will we will reveal the business, their story, and a special giveaway. That’s right, we have 12 giveaways coming up!
Make sure to check out our 12 days of Christmas event page every day as we reveal the next business. All giveaways will start the day the blog is featured end 5 days later! All photos have been provided by the business, unless otherwise credited.
On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me......
Why/How/When did you start your business?
Tealee was born 2 years ago when my boyfriend/business partner, Sami, decided to make a joke website that would allow me to sell my personal tea stock. I had over 30 different kinds of tea in a cupboard, and when I went away for a weekend, I came back to it all being up "for sale". I thought it was a great idea to share my passion for tea with others, so we decided to give it a try by sourcing teas from a company out of Toronto. Since then we've moved to a model where we mainly sell our own blends of tea as well as a collection of classic teas!
Tell us about your successes and/or challenges?
Since we love attending markets so much, one of the biggest challenges has been deciding which ones are best for our demographic. We've gone to ones where the response is hugely positive and encouraging, and we've attended ones where we feel invisible. It can be daunting, but as long as we remind ourselves that we're doing what we love, it's all worth it. One of our biggest successes has been with our Corporate Blend program, where we work with a company to build a tea blend for their events, their staff, or just to have in their office. We've worked with Andrew Fleck Child Care Services, Ottawa Tourism, Studio L'Eclipse, and a few more. It's been a ton of fun working with them, and seeing the product go into production!
What is your most popular product?
The popularity of our products really depends on the season. During the fall, our Apple Cinnamon Oolong is hugely popular, because it's like apple pie in a cup. During the colder months, Zesty Earl is great to warm up after spending some time outside, or to put in a to-go cup and carry along with you. For the spring and summer, it's a tie between our Princess Presley, and our Cool Raspberry Mint. Both provide a great iced-tea alternative, and are just fruity enough to help replace sugary juices.
What do you want people to know about you and your products?
I think the big distinguishing feature about us, compared to other tea sellers, is we avoid the use of artificial and natural flavouring additives in our blends. We add nothing but the raw essentials to our blends, and that translates to a cup of tea that tastes cleaner and more natural while absorbing the health benefits of each ingredient.
Where else can people find your products?
On our online tea shop at www.tealee.ca and at local craft shows and farmers markets that are listed on our website and we try to update our list as much as possible. We’re also looking to expand into retail locations shortly!
We are currently working on re-vamping our labels and packing in preparation of having our tea blends offered at various local retail shops in the Ottawa area. New tea blends are also in the works and will be released in the new year. We have been asked about a fruit black tea blend and we think it would be a great addition to our collection of teas.