Specialty tea wholesaler The Tea Spot is returning to store distribution with a 10-SKU line of pyramid sachet tea in tins.
Founder and CEO Maria Uspenski said the 12-year-old Boulder-based supplier abandoned store distribution a few years after launching a high-price-point loose leaf tea.
“We feel the time is right to take The Tea Spot brand to more widespread wholesale distribution,” Uspenski told World Tea News. “The past 18 months have brought triple growth in our tea revenues,” with a new line of natural cleansing teas that have proved popular, she said.
In an interview with FoodNavigator-USA she explained that after launching the company in 2004 “we collectively were looking to grow way too big, way too fast.” The line failed and that led Uspenski to rethink her retail strategy.
During the years that followed, she concentrated on developing wholesale clients and building an online presence. More recently, she introduced detox teas “that are often purchased by customers who are looking to bring tea into their everyday wellness routines. Our cleanse teas span the range from highly caffeinated energy teas and green tea blends with matcha, to caffeine-free teas, either with functional ingredients like ginger and turmeric, or sleepy teas. Most of these are 100% certified organic,” she said.
Uspenski is known for her innovations in teaware, utensils, and tea blends. Even the sachets she chose are unusually large to accommodate higher grade, broken leaf teas—enough to seep a 16-ounce cup.
She told World Tea News the new line includes five organic and five conventional teas. The firm has generated enough volume so that it no longer relies on co-packers, which enables Uspenski to significantly reduce the price point (which is still being determined).
The company also offers unblended teas and matcha. Its top seller is Bolder Breakfast blend. An avid coffee drinker at one point, Uspenski added puer to a full-bodied black tea with notes of chocolate for the blend. Another fan favorite is Wild Chicory Joe, made with chicory, a non-caffeinated coffee-stretcher popular in the Southern states.
Her best sellers will anchor the line and with widespread growth in the functional tea categories, “the move to make ten of our teas available for retail sale through distribution in the U.S. and Canada is a natural extension of our existing online retail and wholesale channels,” she said.