Name: Esther Kungu-Cooper. Age: 36.
What is your business called?
What does it produce?
We source the finest single-estate teas and create unique hand-crafted blends at our tea factory in Leith. Our tea blends are created from scratch bringing together the finest natural ingredients and flavours. Our singleestate teas are traded directly where possible.
To whom does it sell?
PekoeTea is positioned to be an affordable luxury. Our customer base is broad but I would say that our main demographic spans young professionals who like food right up to a slightly older generation who traditionally like high quality single estate teas. We sell directly to consumers through our retail store and website, with our website becoming a much larger focus since Covid-19. Wholesale is growing fast in the hotel, restaurant and café sector and now independent retail market. Two of our most high profile clients are the Waldorf Astoria and Mackintosh at the Willow. We have also exported to stockists in Chile and Germany with several other export deals in the pipeline.
What is its turnover?
In 2010, when the shop first opened, the turnover was five figures. Over the past decade it has grown year on year, to 10 times the initial annual value by the start of 2020. The growth really accelerated in 2019 after we started to manufacture our own blends. The last year has been difficult because of the lockdown and turnover is down. As everything starts to reopen and with several large export opportunities, we hope to get back to where we were within the next 12 months and start growing again.
How many employees?
Including myself and my partner, Jon, we have four full time employees.
When was it formed?
Why did you take the plunge?
Jon had already been running the business for a few years and I was looking for a new challenge. By the time I joined, it had grown sufficiently to support the two of us. I wanted to be my own boss so I could have more time for being creative. This hasn’t completely worked out as planned because I spend so much time on the business...