St Anthony Village store, 2004
We opened the second TeaSource store in St. Anthony Village near Northeast Minneapolis. This is a much larger space than the St. Paul store because we wanted to blend tea, handle web orders, and sell to wholesale customers from there.
It went from this…
It was so nice being able to hire contractors to do most of the work this time.
We built a classroom in St. Anthony, because we will always believe in teaching about tea.
David teaching a Tea 101 class at St. Anthony.
Sarah working on web and wholesale orders at St Anthony.
Eden Prairie store, 2011
Our third retail store in Eden Prairie is our biggest retail location.
We strive to be good neighbors and active members of the community. In Eden Prairie, we have hosted tea workshops, Zumba class, writer’s workshops and tea, singers’ workshops and tea, Tea Drunk with Bill, and many other events.
Tea Masters Series
In 2009 we began the Tea Masters Series. I have always considered myself very lucky to be able to learn from some of the greatest tea experts in the world; folks who often grew up in the industry and who know a lot more about tea than I do.
These people also tended to be incredibly gracious and generous with their knowledge. I knew TeaSource customers would love to meet, learn from, and share tea with them. That was the genesis for Tea Masters.
TeaSource has hosted Tea Masters from: Taiwan (twice), Japan, Sri Lanka, India, China (twice), and California.
Thomas Shu spreads the love of Taiwan oolongs wherever he goes, Tea Masters series 2013.
Chaminda Jayawardana, owner/director of Lumbini Tea Factory, conducted a Tea Masters workshop at the TeaSource warehouse in 2016.
TeaSource Outreach & Education
As a company, we are committed to outreach and tea education in our communities and greater Twin Cities area.
We LOVE being part of the Great Minnesota Get Together!
I see our participation in the Minnesota State Fair as preparation for my post-TeaSource career; selling Ginzu Knives and Vita-Mixes under the Grandstand at the State Fair.
Our crew of runners for the St. Anthony Village Fest Parade, circa 2010.
Tea workshop at the Highland Park store.
Within six months of opening the St Paul store I had chefs, restaurant owners, and coffee-shop operators knocking on my door asking me to sell them tea for their customers.
We now have wholesale customers from Alaska to Barbados and many places in-between. We sell to businesses that are in the business of re-selling the tea, either loose leaf tea in bulk or preparing it as a beverage.
Our wholesale crew, David, Michael, and Eri.
In 2014, we opened the TeaSource warehouse and office in Roseville, MN. We do all of our order fulfillment, tea evaluations, tea blending, receiving/shipping, and administrative stuff there. It is a climate controlled, organic approved 10,000 sq. ft. space that we were able to design from scratch to meet our needs including “clean rooms” to handle all tea blending and packaging.
“Cupping up” (evaluating and making buying decisions) a few of the hundreds of tea samples we go through each year.
A small container of tea from China.
We launched our first website in 1999 (thanks Matt). You couldn’t even buy tea on it - it was purely informational. But it was a start.
We launched our first reasonably decent website in 2009, along with this slogan:
TeaSource in the Future
Sometimes people ask me what I do for a living. I usually respond “I’m a tea merchant.”
Basically my job involves playing with tea and being nice to people. That’s what TeaSource is all about. We don’t plan to change direction.
The success TeaSource has enjoyed over the last 20 years is not because of me. It’s because of all the people who have supported us, taught us, supplied us, worked with us, and patronized us. My deepest thanks to you all.