Seeing people’s reactions firsthand brings a knowing chuckle to both of their voices. For many, the first delicious sips of Brad and Sheila’s brainchild; Tea’d Greens, positively catches people off guard. All preconceived ideas of how greens should taste are torn apart. Their tea ranges don’t try to disguise the flavours of their antioxidant rich greens, unlike big name contemporaries who sometimes distort flavours by adding not-always natural ingredients. For many people, it’s a palate cleansing taste revelation to first experience a steaming cup of serene green or meadow mint.
It’s a new concept for a Canadian audience, and one which has been met with positivity and enthusiasm by many, not least at the farmers’ markets where these exchanges happen. Their tea is made from cultivating and processing young leaves of the wheat, barley and oat plants, all of which are completed on their scenic acres. Selected herbs are then added to create flavourful smooth blends. This is their second year of farmers’ markets for the duo, and they’re making well steeped impressions at The Grand Forks Farmers Market and markets across the nearby Okanagan too.
The couple share the operations. Sheila takes the reins on the marketing and sales having transitioned from a lengthy career in the health and beauty industry. Brad has long worked with greens, having previously worked with industrial sized processing facilities, so it was a lateral move in creating tea from greens. Their caffeine free product, and operation, is novel and distinctive, yet it has all the hallmarks of a local business set for big things. The health benefits alone are numerous.
Transparency is vital to how they operate with a whole webpage dedicated to explain their processing. However, it was their time spent at the farmers’ markets that led to their most transparent business innovation. After people tasted the product at their booth, they tended to ask about its health benefits and in turn about how they process the crops. People would ask about farm tours, they were asked so frequently they relented and now they offer a host of tea adventure tours on their beautiful acres, now primarily promoted at their booth at the market.
The feedback from the markets are how their decisions in new blends come to life, people open up about their health needs and what they’re after in their tea. Plus feedback from their recipe ideas, including iced teas and mojitos! They’ve also grown their customer base nicely from market exposure.
Reaching day one of processing came with years of effort. Brad, especially, embarked on a journey of discovery in getting everything operational. Researching tea processing online and tea processing equipment, which led him to Chinese manufacturers, the one in which he ended up using turned out to be serendipitous. Chois, a Chinese tea master, soon became his step by step mentor in learning the art of creating the three types; green, oolong and black, a matter of oxidation. Without his tireless tutelage Tea’d Greens would not be where it is today. They hope to have him over to stay with them sometime in the short term future.
The journey began in 2019, whereas as we approach 2024 talk of better serving their customer base sits high on the agenda, with exciting moves into potentially creating powdered greens that could be added to smoothies or foods!