Celebrating 22 years
of introducing America
to the art of tea!
Bruce Richardson introduces the tea families.
to an interview with
the Richardsons on
Bruce Richardson serves as
Columnist for TeaTime magazine
Contributing Editor for TEA magazine
Editorial Board Member for Fresh Cup magazine
Tea Master for the Boston Tea Party Museum
TEA 101: The Art of Owning a Tea Business
TEA AS A LIFESTYLE
FOUR CUPPING SESSIONS: GREENS/WHITES, OOLONGS, BLACKS, HERBALS/TISANES
FROM THE BUSH TO THE CUP
Experience the story of tea production brought to life through the photography of Bruce Richardson. This feature has appeared in Fresh Cup's TEA ALMANAC and a portion is taught at World Tea Expo by Mr. Richardson for many year.
TEA & GIFT SHOP RETAILING
Learn what tea drinkers love to buy and how you promote your best-selling items. Participants receive the valuable Elmwood Inn vendor list with information about ordering best-selling tea related merchandise. Our staff has walked the aisles of trade shows for over 15 years. This list is priceless and will save you hundreds of hours of research!
DESIGNING TEA FOODS
No American tea venue developed as many recipes as Elmwood Inn. Hear the details behind the beautiful tea foods you've seen in the three Elmwood cookbooks. This idea-filled session is always a highlight of the weekend.
Starting a tea room or tea bar? What agencies do you contact? What equipment will you need? How do you go about setting up a kitchen or tea station that works for you.
TELLING YOUR STORY
Are you media-savvy? Enhance your public relations skills by learning how to send effective press releases. Learn how to get press exposure using a press kit and photographs. We give you a sample press release on a cd to take home and use with your business.
STAFFING AND RESERVATIONS
How do you find staff. How do you train employees? When is it feasible to take reservations and how do you avoid "no-show?" This session could save you a lot of money and headaches over the years!
TEA AND HEALTH
You've read Bruce Richardson's magazine articles about tea and health as he reports from the International Tea & Health Symposium. Learn about the latest research and its implications for the tea industry.
GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS: DEVELOPING A BUSINESS PLAN
What should I charge? Should I take reservations? How do I train my employees? How much should I invest? Can I make a profit? What agencies do I have to contact? We will help you research these important questions before your banker asks. We give you a complete sample tea business plan (Word document) to use at home. Tailor it to your business, print it off, and take it to the bank!
TEA & ETIQUETTE OPTION
TEA 101 participants receive a $200 discount on the manual when purchased at this weekend's seminar!
All classes are held at historic Gratz Park Inn, Lexington, Kentucky.
Speak to Lois Quilligan, course facilitator at 800-765-2139. She is happy to answer all your questions.
Spring 2012 Class
Bruce Richardson Answers Your Questions about Tea Education
Why would someone want to attend a tea school?
There was no instruction available for starting a tea business when we began in 1990. Shelley and I were both educators so we became our own teachers. We learned by talking to anyone who knew anything about tea, traveling to Europe, walking the tradeshows and honing our craft. We could have saved a great amount of time and money if we had had a seminar to jumpstart us into the tea profession.
Considering the resources available today, I am amazed at the number of people who tell me they are on a journey to begin a tea business but they haven't thought of investing in a roadmap.
Who attends your classes?
Our seminars have evolved over the years from a primary emphasis on opening a tearoom to a broader scope of starting any tea business. We still have tearoom owners attend but we also have a good number of people interested in tea bars, tea stores, B&B teas, and restaurant tea service. We have one graduate who now teaches a college course in tea and another who started a quarterly tea event for cancer survivors.
What can students expect to learn?
One of our main goals is to challenge students' pre-conceived ideas. We explain that not all tea businesses are Victorian tearooms catering only to ladies with hats. We give an overall view of the global tea market. Since I travel to tea producing countries and tea businesses worldwide as I research books and articles, I'm able to share my experiences with our students and guide them in upcoming trends.
Our attendees often come with a dream that needs to be either realized - or put away. Many have never thought about how they will make a profit. We show our students the steps to making a profitable business.
No tea business is any better than the owner's knowledge of the main ingredient - tea. We spend hours tasting teas from every tea family, but we do it in hour-long sessions that tea novices can tolerate. We give each student a copy of New Tea Companion (by Bruce Richardson & Jane Pettigrew) before they come so that they have a reference book they can turn to again and again.
Our students learn to market to a large geographic area by getting their story to the media. One class session is devoted to public relations and advertising. We want them to realize their customers will come from 50 to 100 miles away, as well as from their local community.
What quality should students look for in choosing a tea school?
There are a number of options these days for budding tea entrepreneurs. Match the school with your style and plans. Talk to former attendees. Study the syllabus. Call and ask questions about the instructors and their credentials. You are going to invest thousands of dollars and years of hard work in your future tea vocation. A good education should be the first investment you make!
Will I be a certified TEA MASTER upon completion of this course?
No one in the tea trade would consider calling anyone a tea master unless that person had many many years of experience in the way of tea. That can't be acquired in a three-day seminar.
But, you will be a more enlightened student of tea.
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