Name of business: Tealey Tea
Type of business: Loose leaf tea company
Location : www.tealeytea.com
Contact information : firstname.lastname@example.org
Specialty: Passiflora tea
History of business:
Turlock resident Kiley Keas has always had a passion for tea, even when she was in preschool toting around a thermos filled with her favorite beverage. Today, the entrepreneur has turned her love for the drink into a business, sharing with the community all of the benefits — and flavors — that come with loose leaf tea.
“It means pretty much everything to me,” Keas said. “Even if you’re not a tea fan, there’s probably a tea out there that you’re going to like.”
Keas first began drinking loose leaf tea in 2012, she said, and immediately found the benefits for her complexion and overall wellbeing were too helpful to ignore. In November 2017 she decided to start her own business selling loose leaf tea and aptly named it “Tealey Tea,” combining her first name with her product.
“I would purchase so much tea that eventually I decided to turn the hobby into a business,” she said.
The difference between loose leaf tea and tea that comes in a bag is the brewing capability, Keas noted. Tea in bags is ground up finely, and for it to brew well most people have to use two bags. Loose leaf tea, on the other hand, contains more of the tea’s original plant and can be brewed up to three times.
“Some of them can even be brewed up to ten times; it just depends on the flavor,” Keas said.
Keas frequents both the Turlock Certified Farmers Market and the Central Park Evening Market during the market season to sell Tealey Tea, and often participates in vendor events that encourage shoppers to spend their dollars locally. She also makes a lot of sales through her website, she said, where customers can choose to either have their tea shipped to them for a small charge, or pick up their products from Keas herself for free.
“Doing the markets and meeting people has been my favorite part so far,” she said. “I meet a lot of new people that give me new tea flavor ideas, then I create and sell them.”
Tealey Tea offers a variety of different teas, including herbal, green, black, chai and oolong in flavors that range from fruity to minty, and even some that are spicy. Keas said that best sellers include the Passiflora tea, which is a unique blend of jasmine, black and passion teas, as well as the Coconut Sweet Creme tea, which “always sells out.”
Keas also offers a Turlock Tea blend, which includes different Indian black teas mixed together. Keas said the flavor was inspired by the town’s Assyrian community, who first taught her how to brew loose leaf tea.
Regardless of the flavor, each tea contains its own health benefits, Keas added. Some blends help prevent cancer cells, and others can aid in weight loss. Green tea drinkers find that their metabolism receives a boost from the drink, and other blends can help with aging, sickness and can even give your brain a boost.
“If you drink it in the morning, it won’t make you jittery and it will help you wake up naturally,” Keas said.
Come springtime, Keas hopes to expand her tea business to cater to a younger crowd. She plans on hosting tea birthday parties, she said, for children who fancy the finer things in life, complete with tablecloths, silverware, and, of course, a teapot and teacups.
“It’s basically a mother’s dream,” she said. “The whole birthday set up is ready to go - all they have to provide is the food.”
Whether it’s buying Tealey Tea or throwing a tea party, Keas hopes that Turlock will continue to support her business for years to come.
“I am local, and I’m passionate about what I do,” she said. “Tea is literally my life.”