Mar 17th 2010 Issue
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Getting into the tea business Pt. 2

Charles Cain - Mar 17th 2010

Hands on tea training

Classroom training

Adagio's World Tea Championship iced teas and tea blossoms

On a regular basis I talk (or write) with people who have a dream of someday being "in the tea business". A few weeks ago I wrote an article on Getting started in the tea business with tips on how to get your start and the story of how I got into tea. Today I'd like to take a few minutes to promote the single greatest opportunity to learn the inside scoop on the US Tea Industry and the best way to go from 0-60 in just a few days on understanding what it takes to be successful.

I've been attending and/or exhibiting and speaking at the World Tea Expo since 2005, and without question it is one of the highlights of my year. Rather than put it all into my own words, here is the description from their website:

World Tea Expo (June 11-13 in Las Vegas) is the annual trade event for the $7 billion tea industry (2008), which is expected to grow to a $10 billion dollar industry by the end of 2010. Specialty/premium tea is driving this growth; it remains the main focus of products, services and education at the World Tea Expo.

Thousands of retailers, tea room owners, F&B directors, spa managers, specialty grocers, mass merchants and other business professionals attend the Expo to see more than 300 specialty tea wholesale suppliers and related vendors exhibit new products and innovations. 59% of exhibiting companies exhibit no where else; attending World Tea Expo is an exclusive opportunity to visit these suppliers.

The Educational Conference is the most comprehensive education available in the world of tea:
  1. New Business Boot Camp, June 9 - June 10, is designed specifically for new business owners entering the tea industry. It is the only program offered in America that directly addresses the specific business challenges facing the tea entrepreneur and provides solutions with an esteemed faculty of industry recognized experts. NBBC is held pre-conference for two full days and prepares each attendee for the main Expo.
  2. Core Conference, June 11-13, is comprised of 55 individual sessions including focused tastings, hands-on workshops and executive & technical seminars. Seminar topics cover the latest trends in the industry, beginner - advanced tea knowledge, sales & marketing tools, business solutions and recent research in tea and health.

Whether you're considering getting into the tea business or are looking for ways to improve your operation, this is definitely the place you need to be. This year I'll be giving two presentations with the goal of helping new tea entrepreneurs find their way and helping existing small businesses reach the promised land of profitability:
  1. Purchasing and Inventory Management (as part of the New Business Boot Camp). There are hundreds of books on tea, but have you ever seen one on how to choose a vendor, what to or and how much you'll sell? Passion may get your business started, but you’ll need something more to make your dreams profitable. Learn the strategies that separate the hobbyist from the capitalist and make your business model work!
  2. Reality Check – Finding Happiness and Profitability in Tea. Whether you’re considering a foray into the tea business or already have a retail, wholesale or internet operation, this class will help you take off the rose colored glasses and develop a detailed understanding of how to find profits AND avoid the pitfalls ahead. This presentation will cover tea retailers, tea cafes, tea restaurants, online retailers and wholesalers.

I'm confident that these sessions and all of the networking at the Expo itself will prove invaluable to anyone able to attend.

Adagio Teas