Local tea brand is bearing out its bags of potential
A Westcountry company is aiming to take on iconic industry names including PG Tips and Yorkshire and make a household name of its teabag brand, Smugglers Brew.
Just weeks away from the first anniversary of its launch the Cornish Tea Company says that it has already exceeded its initial five-year target plans
Duncan Bond established the business with nephew, Tom Pennington with £50,000 of their own savings and loans from family.
Within just weeks of their "every day" brand hitting the shelves, the entrepreneurs turned down two venture capital offers totalling £350,000.
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But faster-than-anticipated sales growth saw their cash flow begin to dry.
Then a relative, Harvey Bowden, who's behind his own multi-million pound business stepped in with investment support and business guidance.
Now sold in "every good deli" in the region, Smugglers Brew is stocked in around 40 London shops, wholesaled by Spar, retailed by the National Trust and is currently being trialled by Costcutter. Export leads include to Spain, Australia and the US.
"We have already been approached by a supermarket, but the business is too young to to go down that route yet, although it will happen," says Mr Bond.
Cornish Tea plans to expand in 2014 with the introduction of a range of 'everyday' herbal tea bags.
It also hopes to establish its own packaging plant in Cornwall next year, in a move that would grow its team from five to nine.
"The growth has been unbelievable for us," adds Mr Bond. "We are looking to achieve a £250,000 turnover this year and if everything continues to go well, we are focused upon a £2 million turnover in next three years."
Smugglers Brew is currently seeking 24 local faces to feature on new teabag boxes, which will hit the shops next year. To be considered, email: email@example.com by October 4.