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Aug 18, 2015 9:00 AM ET

Archived: Farm to Tea Cup • Winterwoods Tea Company: Artisan organic tea handcrafted in the beautiful Pacific Northwest using local ingredients.

iCrowdNewswire - Aug 18, 2015

Good Food. Good Business.

At Winterwoods Tea Company we’re passionate about creating delicious, gourmet tea blends using the finest local and organic ingredients. We begin by sourcing our ingredients from small, sustainable farms and companies who support our values and we hand-mix all of our original tea blends in the heart of the Pacific Northwest and Spokane’s farm country, on beautiful GreenBluff.

We love creating teas based on what we can get or forage in our region. From peppermint to peaches and huckleberries, if we can buy it, grow it or pick it local for our teas – we do!

The result? The freshest herbs and spices that go from farm to tea cup.  Straight up all natural tea full of artisan goodness.

Supporting Local Pacific Northwest Farmers

We’re passionate about supporting local agriculture and farmers in the Pacific Northwest and our organic farmers and wild harvesters supply the freshest, highest quality herbs and fruit, creating a naturally delicious and superior cup of tea.

Harvesting Mint in the Inland Northwest
Harvesting Mint in the Inland Northwest

Building Community One Cup At A Time

We believe in building community through tea. We love bringing people together through tea culture. Whether that means supplying tea for a local ice cream shop to create a delicious earl grey ice cream flavor (hello Brain Freeze Creamery!), engaging Spokanites through samplings at local Farmers Markets (check out the popular new Kendall Yards Night Market), or keeping local coffee shops well supplied so they can keep making their popular London Fog steamers with our Inland Grey tea (have you tried this at Atticus yet? So good.), we seek to engage and connect with our community one cup of tea at a time.

The Kendall Yards Night Market
The Kendall Yards Night Market

 Keeping it Real

We believe that tea should be healing and nourishing and that’s why you’ll never find synthetic ingredients, preservatives, artificial flavors or artificial colors, refined sugars, sweeteners or other additives in our teas. Our tea blends contain only organic herbs, spices, tea leaves and sometimes pure extracts.

Our organic GreenBluff Green blend.
Our organic GreenBluff Green blend.

How it All Began

As a former publicist, I (Tirza) was used to creating brand recognition for major companies across the nation and especially loved helping small, artistic businesses thrive through targeted public relations campaigns. But I found myself wanting to be them (my clients) and work with my hands in a creative, inspired way like so many of them did. Additionally, my passion for natural health and the healing power of herbs naturally combined with my love for living intentionally and savoring food (and life) and my knack for business. Things serendipitously fell into place and a business was born.

Owner Tirza and daughter Mira blending Pacific Coast Lavender.
Owner Tirza and daughter Mira blending Pacific Coast Lavender.

I love nothing more than to use my creative talents together with my business oriented brain to carefully research and develop beautiful new tea blends that are nourishing for the body and that take advantage of the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Today, it is a family affair and you’ll often seen my husband Shane running the market booths or my daughters serving up tea samples at art festivals around the Northwest. We are also thankful for our seasonal helpers who help us fill wholesale orders and package our tea.

Currently we have 15 original blends using local ingredients whenever possible including:

• Inland Grey • Northern Twilight • GreenBluff Green • Centennial Chai • Homestead Peach • Down River Harvest • Farmers Market Mint • Pacific Coast Lavender • Northwest Berry • Trailhead Huckleberry • High Desert Sunrise • Old Town Licorice • Mountain Mama • Rose City Chocolate • Harvest Apple

We offer 15 original tisanes and tea blends using local ingredients.
We offer 15 original tisanes and tea blends using local ingredients.

In 2016 we will be pursuing our organic certification, working with a natural foods distributor and attending Pacific Northwest gift and retail trade shows to increase wholesale sales and further the brand. We’ll continue to engage with our fans directly through local farmers markets and events throughout the area.

The Farm Chicks Show
The Farm Chicks Show

If You Build It They Will Come

We launched Winterwoods Tea Company at an art festival event last August and since then the reception and sales of our artisan blends has been astounding and continues to skyrocket. Our sales are projected to more than quadruple this year and we’ve added a dozen wholesale accounts on top of selling at local farmers markets, art festivals and various events arounds town. We often sell out of our most popular blends and are working hard to keep up with consumer demand.

Local hot spots like Atticus, Indaba Coffee, Brain Freeze Creamery and Main Market Co-op and taking notice and are wholesale partners of Winterwoods Tea Company. We also will soon be expanding into other health food stores throughout the region, are in negotiations with a couple major grocers and are working with a natural foods broker. Additionally we anticipate expanding our retail gift accounts in 2016. We’ve been featured on KYLY Saturday Morning News, on AM 790 KJRB Business Talk Radio and we were featured in a two-page spread in The Inlander in July 2015

The Inlander Feature Article July 2015
The Inlander Feature Article July 2015

And this is all unsolicited attention. These companies sought us out because they’ve tried our tea and loved it, have caught our vision and see us filling a niche that is needed here in the Inland Northwest.

What’s Next

The wholesale and direct sale through markets demand for our tea is huge and we are at a cross roads. In order to meet the demand we need to take our facilities to the next level so we can continue making awesome, organic local tea blends.

Ready to Serve Loose Leaf Tea Available at Local Coffee Shops
Ready to Serve Loose Leaf Tea Available at Local Coffee Shops

Additionally, we plan to expand into offering ready-to-drink gourmet iced tea drinks at farmers markets, art festivals and events around the Inland Northwest. We cannot adequately prepare ready to drink tea or meet the demand for packaged tea without our own licensed kitchen.

We need your help.

Old Town Licorice
Old Town Licorice

We simply cannot keep up with the demand using our current methods and the incredible opportunities that keep coming our way using a rented kitchen. We have been renting the GreenBluff Grange kitchen a couple times a month to make a few big batches of tea but this is time consuming and not an ideal set-up. We have had to lug scales, commercial bag sealers, hundreds of pounds of ingredients and other equipment to the kitchen each time we made tea.

In order to make more tea (still in small batches just more often) we need to upgrade to a larger scale that measures and fills bags and a floor sealer stand. These are not items that can be lugged to a commercial kitchen. They are stationary. We need a dedicated space where we can make our tea and have commercial grade equipment that allows us to produce a higher quantity and also a high quality in terms of packaging capabilities.

To date we’ve financed our business 100% ourselves and without debt. We wanted to keep it simple, and let the business grow organically (no pun intended!). But to take the next step and grow this vision is a big financial commitment, and we really need your help.

What We Need

We are seeking to fund the purchase of necessary equipment and the completion of our own licensed kitchen. We have a space built for the kitchen and it has been drywalled and wired but needs to have a contractor bring it up to code for the Washington Department of Agriculture food inspector and the health department. This includes finishing flooring, walls, doors, installing sinks, counter tops, etc.

As a tiny, but growing, business, Winterwoods Tea Company was able to get things rolling on building this commercial kitchen but the cost for equipment requires some outside help. This kickstarter will fund the equipment purchases necessary to complete a commercial kitchen. This includes exciting things like:

  • Work counters and shelving
  • Sinks & faucets
  • An oven for toasting our chai ingredients
  • Refrigerator for our iced tea blends
  • A commercial sealing machine
  • A commercial fill and weigh scale
  • A teabag sealing machine

Extra BONUS!!!

First Supporters – SOLD OUT

We will be awarding the first 25 Kickstarter supporters who purchase rewards a beautiful sample sized glass jar with a sample of one of our blends! 

Samples of our tea blends.
Samples of our tea blends.

It Gets Even Better

Beyond just continuing and building upon our own success with Winterwoods Tea Company, we are passionate about helping other small businesses in the Spokane area start up and thrive. There is a lack of affordable, good quality commercial kitchens to rent in the Spokane area. We plan to make our kitchen available to other small start-ups that need a place to make their food products. We seek to create an “incubator” type environment that will allow for collaboration, encouragement and mentorship for emerging businesses here in the Inland Northwest. We love seeing small businesses thrive and want to be a part of making Spokane a place that helps develop and support local business.

For You

Have you caught our vision? Do you sense that we are onto something? Do you believe in our business? Do you love tea or know someone who does? We need you!

We started this Kickstarter campaign to raise the capitol needed for the purchase of equipment and completion of a commercial kitchen that will help us keep up with our demand and allow us to create a better facility for making our tea.

In addition to all of the awesome rewards detailed at right you’ll get that warm, fuzzy feeling you’ll get knowing that YOU helped give a small, local business the boost it needed to go to the next level plus you’ll be supporting the local small farmers who supply our ingredients.

What do you think? Have we inspired you? Would you like to partner with us?

Please consider supporting local business and help us meet the demand for organic tea blends using Pacific Northwest ingredients. Whether you can support us with $100 or just $5 please consider joining our team. Every little bit helps!

Let our story be your story. Join our communiTEA today!

Read A Recent Article About Us: The Inlander (July 2015)

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Tea Packaging and Size

We offer 15 original tea blends using all organic ingredients and we source ingredients as locally to the Pacific Northwest as possible. Each blends comes in a 4oz size recyclable Kraft stand up pouch. The pouch is resealable. The weight of tea in each bag varies depending on blend, but each bag offer approximately 30 servings of organic, loose leaf tea. See descriptions of tea below for weight of each blend.

Choosing Your Tea Blends

When you pledge you will simply select which reward you would like and at the end of the campaign we will send you a survey where you will let us know which blends of tea you would like and where you would like them shipped. 

Selecting Additional Rewards

You can select more than one award by selecting the bigger reward and then adding on the dollar amount to your pledge for the second award. If additional shipping is needed at that time to cover the second reward, we will invoice you for additional shipping via PayPal. When we send you the survey at the end of the campaign you will let us know what reward the additional funds are to be used toward.

Tea Blends

All blends are organic, vegan and gluten free. All ingredients are 100% organic and fair trade. See below for ingredients and descriptions. 

Trailhead Huckleberry: Ingredients: Organic Blackberry Leaf • Organic Elderberries • Organic Huckleberries • Organic Hibiscus • Organic Cornflower • Organic Rose Hips • Pure Extract. Trailhead Huckleberry is a light and fruity tisane featuring wild harvested huckleberries from Mount Spokane in Washington. The huckleberries and organic elderberries are balanced by light blackberry leaf and sweet hibiscus and rose hips and pure huckleberry extract. Caffeine Free. Net Wt. 1.8 OZ.

Homestead Peach: Ingredients: Organic Strawberry Leaf • Peaches • Organic Hibiscus • Organic Lemon Peel • Organic Orange Peel • Organic Rose Hips • Pure Extract. Homestead Peach is a very fragrant and flavorful herbal tea. Made with handpicked and dried Washington peaches and blended with strawberry leaf, lemon peel and rose hips, this tea will win you over from the moment you smell it. This tea is wildly popular with our retail stores and at market. Caffeine Free. Net Wt. 2 OZ.

Rose City Chocolate: Ingredients: Organic Rooibos • Organic Honeybush Organic Cocoa Nibs • Organic Rose Petals • Organic Rose Hips • Pure Cocoa Extract. Rose City Chocolate is a decadent and delicious tea perfect for an afternoon calorie free treat. The aroma of sweet chocolate and fragrant roses is strong and rich. The cocoa nibs and rose petals are balanced by naturally sweet red rooibos and honeybush. We never use artificial flavorings in our teas or sweeteners, preferring to allow our customers to sweeten, if desired, with their sweetener of choice. Caffeine Free. Net Wt. 3 OZ.

GreenBluff Green: Ingredients: Organic Jasmine Green Tea • Organic Green Rooibos • Organic Jasmine Flowers • Organic Dried Apple • Organic Calendula. This is a wonderfully fragrant tea hand blended with two different types of green tea and handpicked organic apples. The scent of the jasmine flowers balances the green tea. Delicious hot or iced. Contains caffeine. Net Wt. 2 OZ.

Pacific Coast Lavender: Ingredients: Organic Peppermint • Organic Lavender • Organic Chamomile • Organic Rose Hips. Pacific Coast Lavender is a unique light and caffeine free tea made from sweet Northwest peppermint, fragrant culinary lavender, soothing chamomile blossoms and delicate rose hips. With all organic ingredients and lavender sourced from the Pacific Northwest, this tea will soon be an evening ritual. Caffeine Free. Net Wt. 1.5 OZ

High Desert Sunrise: Ingredients: Organic Red Rooibos • Organic Honeybush Tea • Organic Orange Peel • Organic Lemongrass • Organic Hibiscus • Organic Calendula • Organic Rosehips. High Desert Sunrise is an enticing fusion of sweet honeybush, lemongrass, rosehips, hibiscus and marigold blossoms perfectly balanced by naturally sweet red rooibos. Crafted with only the finest organic ingredients, this full bodied tea is delicious hot or iced. Caffeine Free. Net Wt. 2.5 OZ.

Northwest Berry: Ingredients: Organic Red Raspberry Leaf • Organic Lemongrass • Organic Hibiscus • Organic Elderberries • Organic Orange Peel Organic Lemon Peel • Organic Rose Hips. Northwest Berry is a delicious immunity boosting tea high in vitamin C. A beautiful and tasty tea, Northwest Berry is a complex blend of red raspberry leaf, lemongrass, hibiscus, elderberries, orange and lemon peel and rose hips. Crafted with only the finest organic ingredients, this full bodied blend is perfect hot or iced. Caffeine Free. Net Wt. 2 OZ.

Harvest Apple: Ingredients: Organic Red Rooibos • Organic Dried Apples • Organic Sunflower Petals • Organic Cinnamon Chips • Organic Nettle Leaf • Organic Cloves Organic StarAnise • Pure Extracts. Harvest Apple is a delicious tea to enjoy on a fall day. Made with sweet organic Washington apples handpicked and dried in the beautiful Inland Northwest and blended together with rooibos and beautiful sunflower petals, nettle leaf and fall spices, this tea is as beautiful as it is tasty. Caffeine Free. Net Wt. 2 OZ.

Farmers Market Mint: Ingredients: Organic Peppermint • Organic Spearmint • Organic Red Raspberry Leaf • Organic Hibiscus Blossoms • Organic Hawthorn Berries. Farmers Market Mint is a delicious tea made from only the finest organic northwest grown peppermint and spearmint herbs. Rounding out the market bounty in this artisan blend are red raspberry leaf, hibiscus blossoms and hawthorn berries. Naturally caffeine free, this tea is a fast favorite among new customers. Wonderful hot or iced. Caffeine Free. Net Wt. 1.8 OZ.

Centennial Chai: Ingredients: Organic Assam Tea • Organic Cardamom • Organic Ginger Root Organic Ground Ginger Organic Fennel • Organic Cinnamon Bark Organic Peppercorn • Organic Cloves. This beloved tea is Winterwoods’ version of Masala chai, the popular blend of Indian spices and herbs including ginger, fennel, cardamom, cloves and black peppercorns. Crafted with strong Assam black tea, all ingredients in this custom blend are organic and fair trade grown. Boiled with water, milk and sugar or honey, this tea is for those who enjoy their chai spicy! Contains caffeine. Net Wt. 3 OZ.

Inland Grey: Ingredients: Organic Earl Grey • Organic Orange Peel Organic Cornflower. Inland Grey is a fragrant and rich blend of certified organic Earl Grey tea with a touch of bergamot oil, complimented by bright blue cornflowers and dried orange peel. Wonderful with honey or a pinch of sugar and milk, this tea is an excellent way to greet the day. Contains caffeine. Net Wt. 2 OZ.

Down River Harvest: Ingredients: Organic Red Raspberry Leaf • Organic Gotu Kola • Organic Ginkgo • Organic Lemongrass • Organic Hibiscus Organic Orange Peel Organic Rose Hips • Organic Ginger • Organic Cinnamon. Down River Harvest is a healthy and rich herbal tea with a slight spiciness to it. Made with naturally sweet Ginkgo leaf and high in vitamin C, Gotu Kola along with red raspberry leaf, lemon grass, hibiscus, orange peel, ginger and sweet cinnamon chips, this tea is the best tasting detox tea you’ll ever try. Crafted with only the finest organic ingredients, this full bodied tea is delicious hot or iced. Caffeine Free. Net Wt. 1.7 OZ.

Northern Twilight: Ingredients: Organic Black Tea • Organic Calendula. Treat yourself with this dark and malty tea made from the highest quality organic tea leaves and blended with rejuvenating calendula blossoms. Contains caffeine. Net Wt. 2 OZ.

Old Town Licorice: Ingredients: Organic Licorice Root • Organic Marshmallow Root • Organic Echinacea • Organic Orange Peel • Organic Cinnamon • Organic Ginger Root • Organic Fennel. Old Town Licorice is a naturally sweet, herbal tea. This tea not only satisfies a sweet tooth but it also makes a wonderful throat coat tea for when you are sick and have a sore throat. Caffeine Free. Net Wt. 2 OZ.

Mountain Mama: Ingredients: Organic Nettles • Organic Red Raspberry Leaf • Organic Fenugreek • Organic Marshmallow Root • Organic Fennel Organic Lemon Balm • Organic Lemongrass • Organic Red Clover.  This is a delicious, earthy blend of all organic herbs designed to support nursing mamas but yummy enough for anyone. Caffeine Free. Net Wt. 1.3 OZ.

Our exclusive ceramic campfire mug.
Our exclusive ceramic campfire mug.

What If We Raise More Than Our Goal?

Our Kickstarter campaign goal ($13,450) covers the bare minimum amount we need to complete our own licensed kitchen. Additional funds will be used towards appliances for the kitchen, a utility trailer to bring our goods to market, the development of sample packs and for marketing materials including professional website design.  Additional funds will also be used towards making and fulfilling the rewards for pledgers including hiring additional staff for fulfillment as well as creating new, original northwest blends with interesting ingredients like sage, Rainier cherries, sarsaparilla, and juniper. If we go over our campaign goal you might be among some of the first people to taste test our newest blends and offer feedback before we make them available to the general public!

Contact Information:

Tirza Wibel

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