It’s time for the second interview in my new Behind The Biz series. These interviews will explore small businesses, the people behind them and their business journey.
Today’s interview is with Dan Rook, the founder of CHASH Tea.
Where did the inspiration for CHASH Tea come from?
I was aware of the growing trend for quality, well-sourced food and drink (especially coffee) and just couldn’t understand why this was not available for our National Drink!
I was pretty confident better tea must exist. So I went and found it.
How did you decide upon the name of your brand?
It felt important to me to have a name that paid respect to and had its origin in the part of the world from where I source my tea. When I learned of the room in which the Japanese Tea ceremony is performed – Chashitsu – I knew I wanted to use this to inform the name. CHASH was born!
What did you do before starting CHASH Tea?
I was a passionate advocate of newspapers and for 13 years I worked in National Press.
Did you always plan to be self-employed?
No. The truth is I don’t think when I was younger I possessed the discipline. But as I developed my career and my personality I realised it was what I needed to do.
What has been the biggest challenge in running your business so far?
The biggest challenge to me is the operational side (logistics). This is arguably the aspect of running a business I had least experience of (and least enjoy!).
What has been the highlight of your business journey to date?
The buzz each time a new client chooses to serve my tea never leaves.
If I had to choose one highlight it would – oddly – be when I was not successful. Earlier this year I was invited to present my tea by the Waldorf Astoria New York. Although they (understandably) chose to work with a local tea supplier, they told me my tea was the best of all. To hear this, and to even be invited to present, told me I must be doing a few things well.
What role does social media play for your business and do you have a favourite social platform?
Social media is an important part of our communication strategy. It allows us to engage with our customers every day and show the ‘face’ of CHASH that they otherwise would not see.
We are fortunate to work with teas and infusions, something that is beautiful to the eye. Instagram is therefore the favourite platform for us.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Find a partner to share the burden. If no one is suitable, choose a service and not a product.
Where do you hope to take your business in 2016?
We are involved in interesting conversations about extending our reach here in the UK but we are now also looking at opportunities to take better tea overseas.
Thank you so much to Dan for taking the time to be involved with Behind The Biz. I’m a long-term fan of CHASH Tea (Organic Mint Spice is a personal favourite) and I can’t wait to see the business grow throughout 2016.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed today’s interview and don’t forget to check out last week’s interview with the founder of Cambridge Business Lounge. If you fancy getting involved with Behind The Biz please leave a comment below or drop me a message over on Twitter.