Here are five women who are contributing to the tea industry’s fabric by following their dreams and opening teahouses. They saw needs in the retail market and took it upon themselves to help fill those needs in their locales and benefit customers while growing their businesses. Each business owner brings her own unique personality, experiences and knowledge to her teahouse. Their stories may inspire other people to bring their talents to the marketplace.
Pippa Mills opened Pippa’s Real Tea in historic downtown Port Townsend, Washington, after missing the kind of tea experience she had in her native Melbourne, Australia. She offers an environment that is both modern and traditional and is welcoming to all. She helps customers learn about her wide array of teas and herbal blends. Mills also offers High Tea on Saturdays with authentic English scones and clotted cream, and occasional tea tastings at her tea bar. Her teahouse was recently voted “Best Tea House in Seattle” for the second year in a row in an online poll. Read more: Business Lessons from One of Seattle’s ‘Best’ Teahouses.
Souvia tearoom owner Olivia Wingert was born and raised in Frankfurt, Germany. After moving to Arizona with her husband, she noticed the area was severely lacking in the way of tea, and many Americans only knew of Lipton and Bigelow. Wingert opened Souvia in Phoenix in 2006 and offers customers 140 teas and herbal tisanes along with a feeling of community. Wingert uses tea as a vehicle to bring people together and create friendships. She also offers tea education classes to customers. Here’s how “Souvia Focuses on Community as Arizona Oasis.”
Aimee Gans always wanted to own a teahouse. In 2012, she and her husband, John Gans, opened The Tilted Teacup in a historic house in Brooksville, Florida, where Aimee brought her vision to fruition. Her teahouse combines traditional English tea with Southern charm. The Tilted Teacup involves customers in an all-encompassing experience with its annual events, such as the Downton Abbey Christmas Tea, the Titanic High Tea and the Valentine’s Day Tea, which have become yearly traditions for some customers. Explore “The Tilted Teacup: A Piece of England In Florida.”
Ali Roth’s approach to managing a tea business is uniquely her own, as she delivers bulk-ordered loose leaf teas to customers on her motorcycle. Roth opened her Berkeley, California-based teahouse, the Blue Willow Teaspot, in 2016. She was initially inspired by the chado matcha tea ceremony while on a trip to Japan when she was 12 years old and later worked for Peaberry’s Coffee and Tea, which provided the knowledge foundation for her business. The teahouse’s décor is an amalgamation of industrial and zendo. She performs and teaches the Omotesenke tea ceremony every week. “Tea, Meet Tattoos” for this business woman.
Victoria Boyert’s introduction to tea happened at age 7 when her mother took her to a “tea club,” which inspired her to become involved in tea. In 2010, she opened The Tipping Pot in the Silicon Valley village of Saratoga. Boyert shares her English heritage with customers by providing a traditional English tea service, including scones from an 1890 family recipe. Boyert also has an online tea wholesale company called Satori Tea Co., which provides a variety of premium teas from around the world to the diverse tea-drinking Silicon Valley population. Her second online business, Strip Teas, specializes in herbal blends that detoxify the body. The “Young Bay Area Entrepreneur is a Tea Triple Threat.”