Krisi and Mike created Bird & Blend Tea Co. in their bedroom in Nuthall, and in a few years, their little enterprise grew into an independent, award-winning, tea company on a mission to reimagine tea.
Nowadays, the company owns eight physical stores across the country that offer the most extensive range of creative tea blends in the UK, a thriving international online store, and runs regular tea mixology and tea blending workshops.
The best thing about using Shiptheory to help streamline our fulfilment process and to create postage and scan labels, is that we don't have to think about it!
Mike Turner - Co-Owner
Q: Tell us about your story so far, and what makes Bird&Blend Tea Co. different from other tea brands?
A: Bird & Blend Tea Co. is a fairly young, happiness spreading, independent, award winning, unique Tea Mixology Company on a mission to make people happy with tea! Starting off packing tea in their bedroom & attending markets; Mike & Krisi built Bird & Blend from scratch 6 years ago. Now with an awesome team, multiple retail stores and a thriving international online store Bird & Blend is leading the way in tea innovation in the UK.
Q: When did you take the leap from doing festivals to your first retail store?
A: We started running market stalls, festivals and events from 2012 and then two years later in April 2014 we opened our flagship store in Brighton and haven't looked back since!
Q: You have entirely rebranded everything recently. What was the reason behind that decision, and what was the reaction of your customers so far?
A: We loved our original name of Bluebird Tea Co because it meant so much to us personally and reminded us of the perfect 'bluebird' day from our skiing days but we were challenged for the trademark ‘BLUEBIRD’ by a large restaurant company and after a lot of soul searching, customer outreach and head scratching, we decided to see the change as an opportunity to rebrand and take the company in a new direction and so Bird & Blend was born!
Q: Tell us a bit about UniversiTEA.
A: Our UniversiTEA has grown and grown over the years and is a huge resource on our website for customers to explore to find out everything they need to know about tea! They can learn about the different types of tea, how it is produced and its health benefits alongside news stories, our ChariTEA involvement and a massive library of tea recipes that include cocktails, cakes and so much more!
Q: What's been Bird & Blend's most significant achievement to this point?
A: We are pretty proud of the fact that we not only got past the first 3 years of trading, which for any new business is no mean feat, but we have also doubled our revenue every year and doubled our staff numbers each year too which is a pretty enviable track record! There are lots of smaller wins that we are also just as proud of such as how we successfully rebranded, graduating our first apprentice into a full-time position and the huge and very loyal customer base that we have who have followed us on our journey and are our biggest supporters!
Q: What's the process of creating a new flavour?
A: Ideas for a new blend or collection come from so many different places, they can be suggested by customers or staff members or inspired by trends including food & drink, fashion or media. Sometimes we start with a blend name or idea and then create the flavours but sometimes it is the other way around and we have an idea for a flavour we want to create first. During the blend creation process we look at which tea base goes with the flavour and ingredients we are creating such as a cakey flavour works best with a rooibos base whereas a fruity flavour works well with green tea! Once the recipe has been created then we have to taste many, many samples until we get to the final recipe and sometimes in the process we discover new recipes by happy accidents that weren't what we started out trying to create so it is a fun process!
Q: How does Shiptheory help you with managing your online orders?
A: The best thing about using Shiptheory to help streamline our fulfilment process and to create postage and scan labels, is that we don't have to think about it! It is so good that 95% of our postage is calculated for us so it totally removes the stress for our fulfilment team and it is really easy to create new shipping rules for the exceptions!
Q: What does the future of Bird & Blend Tea Co. look like?
A: Once we are out of the lockdown and it is safe to do so, we plan to keep growing, open more stores, increase our events offering and continue to grow our online business.