Brendan Neskovski CEO & Operations Manager of Tea For describes himself as a huge mind map person; his line of 100% certified organic, ethically sourced, chemical free tea was production ready, but branding remained undeveloped.
Central to his core problem solving strategies, he faced the chalk board wall and asked himself, what do we drink tea for? In the center went the words ‘tea for’. When the dust settled the message was clear; front and center appeared his company name and tag line Tea For, What’s Your Tea For?
Brendan almost chose to bypass academia, believing his passion for business and hands on learning was the best place to harness his entrepreneurial instincts. Stints in direct and network marketing, the steep learning curve of investment and Co-ownership in the retail food industry stimulated his desire for post-secondary education. Travel and Tourism at Georgian College was a good fit, and in hindsight this energetic risk taker might have otherwise missed the opportunities provided to him by the Begin, edUcate, Invest, Launch, expanD, (BUILD) program at the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre.
Brendan Neskovski speaks highly of the connections made at the Henry Bernick Centre. “Chris Adams, my mentor, is a huge help in assisting me to grow and build my brand, he helped me tweak my business plan to make it work. Sara Bentham, the Project Coordinator, is a fantastic contact, it’s a great program. Now I’m looking for business funding through personal sources, to kick start. I’m not at the stage of wanting to give up a percentage of my company because I’m so new, this was conceptualized last March and I just launched in November 2016.”
The stimulus for creating Tea For came with strongly steeped traditions, both personal and cultural. Brendan’s goal is to bring it back to its roots.
While the market is saturated with tea products, Brendan’s research showed that artificial flavorings are added to natural and organic products. Taste, quality, and the entire culture of tea is negatively impacted, Tea For fills the gap.
“We have westernized our tea so that everything is artificial and chemically infused; nothing is the same as it traditional should be. Historically, the main reason for drinking tea was for health benefits, but that no longer exists with other companies using artificial ingredients; the chemicals negate the health benefits, Tea For aims to change this.”
“I saw that with the addition of artificial flavours, no one is keeping it raw, if no one is doing it, I’m going to do it. Tea is a traditional and cultural experience that needs to be brought back to its roots.”
Tea For teas are sourced from around the world; all ingredients are certified organic, ethically sourced, chemical free with no artificial flavours, then blended and packaged in BPA free, recyclable, re-sealable packs, at a certified organic kitchen in Ottawa. Once funds are sourced, Brendan plans to build his own certified organic kitchen in Barrie.
The company was founded on the principles of integrity, environmental awareness, and social consciousness with 10% of the profits from the purchase of the tea donated to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). http://www.ifaw.org/canada
Tea For may be purchased online and is available at the following Ontario retailers: Route 145 in Orangeville, Kawartha Slices, Highway 35 – on route to cottage country, and the Kawartha Lakes Trading Post in Rosedale. Brendan is actively locating local vendors while increasing production for orders, as the recent Canada Blooms show wiped out his inventory.
As Brendan Neskovski, CEO of Tea For asks his customers, what’s your tea for?