Brokering, distributing, and demoing our teas ourselves has been one of the most rewarding pieces of solidariTEA: it’s allowed us to personally cultivate relationships with our buyers, our store teams, and the communities who shop/eat/learn in each location. Yet we now find ourselves at a strategic tipping point: with two years of sales and 50+ accounts under our belt, we are now looking to expand our family of teas as well as our impact and the accessibility of our teas.
As I write this, I’m thrilled to announce solidariTEA’s new partnership with an amazing, local distributer who services all of the high-end natural grocery stores in Northern California and Nevada. This includes all of the Whole Foods Markets, New Leafs, and Mollie Stone’s in the region. With a strong distributor at our back, the positive effects will be twofold: first, it will allow us to increase accessibility of our teas to consumers within and beyond our current distribution region; and secondly, allow us to scale up our fundraising efforts for our community partners. Ultimately, this partnership will amplify the social and health impact of solidariTEA.
With this expansion comes increased costs, for each new account that brings our teas in will require demo support and sample product to build movement and drive customer awareness and sales. We also are in the process of perfecting two new green tea recipes. Currently we offer two black teas and a caffeine-free red tea, and while both teas have amazing health properties, green tea is well renowned — and researched — as the cancer-fighting queen. One of the green teas will also be completely unsweetened. We just received a Whole Foods Small Producer Grant to support the purchase of our ingredients and production of our green teas this Fall, however we still need to raise money to support the design and production of the labels, case packaging, and to do our nutrition analysis.
We will use this $5k Kiva Zip loan as follows:
$1000 — Travel, sample product, and demo support for the Northern CA/NV expansion
$1500 — Green tea label and tray element designs
$500 — Nutritional analysis of green teas
$2000 — Label plate production and first run of labels
Up until this point, solidariTEA has been running on the generosity of family & friends through personal loans, through past crowdfunding campaigns, our monthly revenue, and first and foremost, out of our own pockets. Your contribution is a vote of confidence in us, our mission, and everything we’re building through solidariTEA, and it gets us one step closer to ensuring the sustainability of that vision and our own livelihoods as we work our hardest to make it happen.