March 26, 2014- ANNAPOLIS, MD–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Capital Teas, Inc., a leading American specialty tea company, today announced it has raised $5.0 million in a Series A funding round through its new investor partner, Pear Tree Partners, LP. Co-founders Peter and Manelle Martino will retain control of the company.
This financing will be used to expand Capital Teas’ retail store presence and other sales channels to serve the rising U.S. consumer demand for specialty teas, to extend the company’s reach to new geographies, to bolster online sales, and to accelerate wholesale sales to leading restaurants and hotels. As one of the leading specialty tea providers in the United States, Capital Teas is committed to investing in expansion and in continued innovation surrounding high quality teas. Capital Teas will focus much of its employee growth during the coming year in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area.
Capital Teas was founded by Peter and Manelle Martino in 2007. Until mid-2010, it operated one small retail store in Annapolis. Since then, the company has opened an additional five retail locations plus a headquarters and warehouse in Annapolis. Its seventh store will open on Barracks Row in Washington D.C. this spring and additional stores are planned this year. Capital Teas encourages its customer to “Stop and smell the teasTM” at its unique multi-sensory sniffing walls, and at its most recent stores, has also begun to offer patrons the chance to sit and enjoy its teas at in-store tea bars.
Peter Martino, co-founder and CEO of Capital Teas said, “We have an ambitious plan, but we are blessed with a strong team, a great product line, an amazing heritage in the tea trade, and now a superb investment partner. This funding will not only help us expand faster, but will permit us to ensure a cohesive brand presence and customer experience at all of our stores, and to continue to attract talented staff looking for the opportunity to lead in the specialty tea market.”
Manelle Martino, Chairman of the company stated: “I am very excited to continue to imbue my family’s five-generation tradition of excellence in the tea trade into everything at Capital Teas, now with planned accelerated growth. We serve and sell teas from around the world, including tea from the very Ceylon tea estate that my great-great-grandfather planted. We take pride in sourcing sustainable products that provide our customers with taste, health, and the human experience – all at the same time.”
Peter Martino will be speaking at the upcoming World Tea Expo in both Tea Business Boot Camp, and Core Conference. His dynamic sessions include The Basics of Tea Business and David & Goliath: Building Your Own Successful Tea Business Close to a Teavana.