Easy Teasy: A start-up making loose leaf tea easier

A start-up looking to brew up a storm in the tea industry from the heart of Newcastle, Easy Teasy co-founder Harry Marshall spoke to BQ about the firm’s progression so far.

Launched by three young entrepreneurs late last year, Easy Teasy is a Newcastle-based start-up selling loose leaf tea and accessories.

Harry Marshall, managing director, Luci Cowie, marketing director and Tom Webb, operations director, launched the company to capitalise on the growing demand for exotic teas.

BQ caught up with Harry to see how the company had progressed since its inception in the winter and what obstacles they have encountered so far.

Harry told BQ: “We set up the business as part of a university project. After a particularly bad cup of tea, we thought we could do much better.

“We wanted to focus on selling a really high quality cup of tea that was accessible to anyone.

“Loose leaf tea has this stigma of being messy, time consuming and just a bit of a pain. We wanted to prove that this simply isn't the case.”

As the trio made the leap to take the project to market, they began thinking of how best to fund the venture to make it sustainable.

He continued: “We all invested £150 each and grew the company from there. We are now in the process of applying for a start-up loan to help us grow further.”

Coupled with their knowledge gained from their degrees and their market research, the group sought advice from all corners to perfect their business plan.

As Harry said, “we are lucky enough to still be in contact with Northumbria University who are providing a great deal of mentoring for us.

“We also receive a great deal of support from the North East’s business community — everybody is so friendly and helpful!”

Running a business whilst working or learning full-time always faces difficulties, as many entrepreneurs featured in BQ would agree - and Harry was no different.

He continued: “Running a business whilst completing a degree has been tremendously challenging! It is such a relief to have finished the dissertation to give us the time to really focus on the business and work out how best to grow.”

Now that the firm is continuing to grow its reputation and break into the tea industry, Easy Teasy is looking to expand its customer base.

“We want to get our products into retailers. We want to start off small, selling to independent delis and farm-shops, before moving into the larger supermarkets and department stores.”

Harry added: “Being your own boss is fantastic - having the freedom to make your own decisions and see your business grow from your hard work is incredibly fulfilling.

“The worst thing is the long days and nights; I’ve forgotten what a weekend is! But it all pays off so I don’t consider it a bad thing.”

In making sure their product stood out from competitors and had a unique selling point, the trio thought long and hard about how to best pitch the product to consumers.

In doing this, they discovered that “tea bags, however they are made, just do not give the same quality as loose leaf tea. With only 2% of tea drinkers drinking loose leaf, we feel that there is a real opportunity to convert the 98% into drinking loose-leaf!”

BQ will continue to follow Easy Teasy’s journey as the firm continues to grow and spill into other areas outside of its native North East.