Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Black-Owned Tea Businesses Build Community

In honor of Black History Month (and as an indirect nod to our new tea-loving President and other African American leaders) I decided to write about black-owned tea businesses for World Tea News. It was a fascinating article tor research. There are some wonderful tea businesses out there that are owned by African Americans. They run the range from blenders to bottlers to tea rooms, and had some very interesting things to say about tea and African American community/identity. Here's an excerpt from the piece:

Urban Tea Loft (Chandler, Ariz.)

CEO: Glynis Legrand

Years in business: 1 ½

Products: More than 100 loose-leaf teas, foods with and without tea as an ingredient, tea cocktails, tea soaps and lotions

Purpose: To get people to try and enjoy tea in many forms

How she got started: A former Fortune 25 company manager, Legrand started a journey into tea when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. She attended The World Tea Expo to learn more about tea for her own health and decided she belonged in the industry.

Community impact: Legrand said African Americans make up a very small percentage of the local population, but a sizeable percentage of her clients, thanks to word of mouth and events like “Soul Food Saturdays.”

Landmarks: Awards from Phoenix Magazine, participation in the 2008 Super Bowl celebrity-gifting lounge, board membership at The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Goals: To set up Internet sales and expand to additional locations

Glynis was just one of the five African American tea business owners profiled in this article. Read more on black-owned tea businesses on World Tea News.

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