Tea People was founded by Neeraj and Vishaka, a husband wife duo who hail from the beautiful tea growing region of Darjeeling in India and have been living in the UK since 2005. In 2009 they came across a school in their hometown of Darjeeling that was in urgent need of some repairs and assistance. The school was located amidst the tea gardens and so served the children of tea garden workers and other impoverished villagers in the area.
As the duo attributed their own success to the education they had received and firmly believed in the role of education in providing equal opportunities and in alleviating poverty, they decided to help and raised the required funds to provide the much needed assistance.
The 'big idea'
While it was extremely satisfying to be able to help, there was something that kept bothering the pair. They realized that the scale of the problem was much bigger and way beyond that one school. Also, that fundraising alone was not a very sustainable way of addressing the issue.
According to Neeraj, "Being dreamers, we had very special "pyjama party" - meetings where we discussed our world changing ideas! Our light bulb moment came during one such party where the aroma of our Darjeeling inspired us to form a social enterprise that would use tea as the medium for bringing about a positive social change." The idea was to bring the taste of a wide variety of fine, specialty and flavoured tea to the tea lovers of the world and give them a chance to change the lives of the poor children and empower communities living in and around the tea growing areas.This is how Tea People was born!
Tea People is hence set up as a social enterprise and have committed to put aside at least 50% of its net profits towards its social causes.
The real 'tea people'
Tea People is now home to an expanding range of a wide variety of tea catering to the different tea needs of all kinds of 'tea people' out there. However, all of this would not have been possible without the help, support and encouragement we have received over the course of our journey. For instance,
- Our close friend and co-dreamer Gillian Gamble helped us with most of our initial branding and designing. To assist her in this task she even enlisted the support of a group of student volunteers from the University of St. Andrew's where she had been a student herself.
- IndusNet Technologies, an award winning web development company provided us with the much needed support in developing our website as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.
- The lovely Anja Nielsen who volunteered to handle our social media updates
And many others who lent us a hand, only because they believed in us and in our cause. For us, Tea People is not just about selling tea. It's about all the people who share our passion and excitement for all things tea, the people whose livelihoods are connected to tea, all lovers of tea and anyone who would like to make a difference to the lives of those who are in need. These, for us are the real 'tea people'.
So put the kettle on, become one of the 'tea people' and together we can make tea into a powerful medium for bringing about a positive social change.
Click here to read about our team profiles.