By Stephenie Overman
French company Palais des Thés closed its two New York City boutiques but plans to expand efforts to sell its specialty teas through other outlets in the United States.
After three years at the New York locations, “the sales were not where we wanted them to be,” said Aurelie Bessiere, president of Palais des Thes USA. “We decided to focus on our other business segments: e-commerce, food service and retail.”
Bessiere said that in May the company will open a new office and tasting room in the SoHo neighborhood of New York. The office will house Palais des Thés’ Tea School.
Palais des Thés sells its teas in an online shop as well.
It recently developed a partnership with Valrhona chocolates to promote a tea and chocolate pairing online.
“The food services area — hotels, restaurants –are doing very well,” Bessiere said. The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel serves Palais des Thes teas and the company works with restaurants to incorporate its tea into dessert recipes.
Palais des Thes also will be rolling out its teas to gourmet food retailers like Le District, Dean & DeLuca, and West Side Market in New York.
The company does plan to open 10 new locations this year for a total of 37 shops in France, nine others in Europe, one in Japan and one in Israel.
Palais des Thés was founded in Paris in 1986 François-Xavier Delmas. It sells all-natural Signature flavored teas (“Les Créations”), single-estate teas and limited edition Grand Crus.