Tea Business Boot Camp


Tea Business Boot Camp (TBBC) is a one-of-a-kind, two-day, intensive and hands-on program that covers critical topics facing the tea entrepreneur as well as provides a solid foundation of tea education. The faculty is made up of top notch educators and experienced experts successfully working in the tea industry today.

Day one is all business. Students will absorb information from several one-hour sessions covering a range of topics from the basics of tea business and financial management considerations to marketing, purchasing and inventory, and Tea 101. Day two is all about the leaf and includes World Origin Tasting Tour- a program exploring 8 countries of origin and their teas.

Packed with education and networking opportunities, TBBC provides the training and knowledge you need to run a successful tea business—right from the start.

Monday, May 4, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Times are tentative; scheduling will be confirmed in Jan. 2015)
Breakfast & Lunch are included 

Session Descriptions

Monday, May 4
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
The Basics of Tea Business
The most successful tea entrepreneurs leverage a comprehensive understanding of the industry to capitalize on the opportunities present in wholesale, retail, food-service and E-commerce. This session will focus on Best Practices and common pitfalls in each of these market segments. You CAN succeed if you understand the competitive landscape and how to take advantage of the opportunities while avoiding mirages and financial quicksand. Speaker: Peter Martino, CEO, Capital Teas, LLC

By the end of this seminar you will be able to:

1. Recognize the advantages and pitfalls of diversification.
2. Identify opportunities to compete and win in each distribution channel.
3. Understand how to get started on a limited budget.
4. Separate fact from fiction, and find profit.
5. Comprehend the Top 5 mistakes and Top 5 keys to success for new tea businesses.

Monday, May 4
9:40 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
Accepting Credit and Debit Cards
Whether you have an online tea business or a brick-and-mortar storefront, accepting credit and debit cards is a necessity in today’s business world. Today’s technology has shifted what was once a ‘complicated and difficult to compare’ business expense to a ‘simpler and less costly’ option. Businesses, banks and vendors who are rapidly losing market share to cheaper, simpler and better processing solutions are at best, scared and trying to adapt, and at worst, lying and spreading misinformation to keep people paying higher fees. This class will teach you the about merchant processing accounts, contracts, fee structures, new-cutting edge options and how to pay the least possible amount in fees. Speaker: Jack Groot, Founder, JP's Coffee & Espresso Bar

By the end of this seminar you will be able to:

1. Understand the basics of card processing.
2. Identify the criteria for selecting a merchant, online or combined processor.
3. Know available platforms for accepting card payment.
4. Discern necessary and unnecessary fees and expenses when accepting card payments.
5. Implement a successful merchant, online or combined card processing system for their business.

Monday, May 4
10:50 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
Marketing and Capturing Customers
This interactive class will teach you how to cultivate customers with cost-effective marketing tools, including newsletters, direct mail, special events and online promotions. Learn how to capture customers and manage them in a database. Learn the dos and don’ts of successful copywriting. Discover common design pitfalls to avoid and what elements to get your marketing piece noticed. Find out easy ways to begin establishing yourself as an expert and how to secure speaking engagements, free media, Web exposure and cross-promotions in your community. Leave with a resource list and the motivation to begin executing a plan that is right for your business to capture, retain and market your target customers. Speaker: Beth Johnston, President, Teas Etc.

By the end of this seminar you will be able

1. Collect, compile, manage and utilize a customer database to increase sales.
2. Generate marketing ideas and opportunities and overcome common roadblocks.
3. Write effective copy that will gain attention and produce results.
4. Confidently contact the media to establish your presence and expertise.
5. Identify low-cost strategies that will work to promote your specific business model and

Monday, May 4
1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. 
Financial Management Considerations for New Tea Businesses
Premium tea is a fast-growing and attractive market, and offers your business high margin potential. According to Packaged Facts, a consumer-goods research firm, tea sales have risen by 32% since 2007. Teavana, acquired by Starbucks in 2012, stated in its July, 2011 Initial Public Offering (IPO) filing that company gross operating margins exceeded 60%. This was key to making the 300+ store chain a viable acquisition target.  In setting up your own tea business, financial metrics and management are key to longevity and success. This session is intended to give you a framework for how to plan, establish, track and act on the business aspects of your venture. During this financial planning education session, participants will explore the following questions, with answers and outcomes tailored for tea businesses.
Speaker: Maria Uspenski, Owner, The Tea Spot

By the end of this seminar you will be able to:

1. Understand how a tea business makes money (Market, Pricing, Profits)
2. Identify what the bottom line potential is (Supply Chain, Costs, Profit Margins)
3. Recognize how much money you will want to get started (Planning, Capital, Forecasting Cash Flow, Seasonality)
4. See what your legal financial responsibilities are (Financial Reporting, Legal Structures and Taxation Requirements)
5. Pinpoint what key metrics you will want to track (Business Operations Metrics)

Monday, May 4
2:55 p.m. - 3:55 p.m.
What Do I Charge?
Setting your retail prices is one of the most critical decisions you make. And unfortunately most people use the W.A.G. method to do this (Wild Ass Guess). In this session Bill Waddington will teach a system for determining the best individual pricing structure for your particular operation. All participants will receive an Excel spreadsheet, written specifically for the retail tea business, that they can customize and use in their own operations. Speaker: Bill Waddington, Founder & President, TeaSource

By the end of this seminar you will be able to:

1. Decide how to price all products in your store to achieve your desired gross profit.
2. Determine what gross profit goals will be appropriate for your unique situation.
3. Know when and how to make adjustments in your existing pricing structure, in response to changing markets conditions.
4. Confidently use basic retail calculations and tools, eg. how to calculate a retail price and gross profit, how to use a breakeven analysis etc.
5. Use this pricing approach to help determine in-store merchandising and marketing changes needed for your business.

Monday, May 4
4:05 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Tea 101 - Intro for World Origin Tasting Tour
Participants will learn about the tea plant and how its leaves and leaf buds are made into Black, Green, Oolong, White, Pu-erh and flavored teas. With a wide variety of photographs and short pieces of film, the class will explain how the different types of teas are manufactured. Speaker: Jane Pettigrew, International Tea Consultant and Writer

By the end of this seminar you will be able to:

1. Understand what a tea plant is.
2. See how and where the tea plant grows.
3. Recognize why all teas are different and have a unique character.
4. Distinguish how Black, Green, Oolong, White, Pu-erh and flavored teas are made.
5. Identify where the different types are made.

Monday, May 4
5:25 p.m. - 6:25 p.m.
Life after TBBC
Abigail StClair, a 2009 Tea Business Boot Camp graduate, concludes our program with an informational & inspirational message for current students. Abigail opened two successful tea stores and launched a successful e-commerce site upon completion of her TBBC program.  Abigail will share her biggest successes and biggest mistakes following boot camp, along with advice she received, things she wished she’d had known then, her greatest challenges and best decisions during the first year. This is your opportunity to get questions answered by one of our most successful boot camp graduates. Speaker: Abigail StClair, Owner & President, TeBella Tea Company

Tuesday, May 5
World Origin Tasting Tour


*Note: Pre-conference event registration includes an exhibit hall pass, but does NOT include additional conference passes/programming.

Copyright 2014 by F+W - All rights reserved