Eco-Prima Tea - celebrating 25 years!
25 years ago, I resigned from my corporate job and decided to forge my own path in the Tea Industry. I knew very little about starting a business but was keen and resolute, and of course, completely oblivious to the challenges that lay ahead.
My first step was to register my company with New York State and form a Corporation. That was November 1995. My immediate goal was to launch my Tea Company at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, January 1996.
I imported one chest of Makaibari Darjeeling Tea by air freight and this was my entire inventory. Rajah Banerjee, owner of Makaibari, and my brother-in-law, patiently answered all my questions and valiantly accompanied me to my company launch at San Francisco. We exhibited at the Tea Board of India booth for lack of funds.
At first, I was unclear whether to be a retail or wholesale company, so I dipped my toes in both. I quickly discovered the imprudence of this and decided to focus on being a wholesale raw material supplier. Soon, I entertained requests to import not just Darjeeling but Assam and Ceylon. In those days, Organic Tea was in its infancy and it was what I offered. There were many in the early months who helped me learn the basics – how to import, how to price, how to write a Contract. Numerous mistakes were made, both big and small. A shipment came in, languished on the tarmac, and got wet in the rain. Alas, I had not yet learned about Insurance. In those early days, we said Yes to every request. I did not have the wisdom to weigh pros and cons or the luxury of saying No to any inquiry. One such adventure involved importing Chamomile and Lavender only to discover, belatedly, how pest-prone they were.
By trial and folly, I built my company, step by incremental step and finally graduated from a one-man band to a small team and then out of the house to offices and a warehouse. Along the way, we ran a Tea Room for 18 years which provided joy and learning. Now, 25 years later, here we are marking our 25th Anniversary in the middle of a pandemic. What a tumultuous year this has been. Some of our friends have permanently closed their doors while others are carefully navigating the treacherous paths of staying open. We are immeasurably grateful for the opportunity and trust given to us these past 25 years and only hope that we will see all of you back and thriving in the world of Tea before too long.
Thanks for giving us our 25 years and we offer a small token of our appreciation:
$25 OFF $250 / Online Orders Only
Use Promo Code: 25YEARS
*Offer Valid through November 25, 2020.