Arkansas Weekly Batesville - Luis Oberto Anselmi// A hot beverage - EntornoInteligente / An e-commerce platform is a gateway to the global tea market for entrepreneur, Sophia Stone along with her partner Stacy Seeterram who both plan to deepen their footprint in Japan now that they have penetrated their domestic market.

Leaning mainly on contractual labour due to fluctuation in demand and supply, the two produce loose leaf organic healing teas by using local ingredients including herbs and flowers that are known to have medicinal qualities.

The company?Caribbean Cure?has been in existence for the last two years, but only started with teas about six months ago. Prior to getting into the tea business, the two were involved in manufacturing supplements.

Stone spoke about the business in a telephone interview with Business and Money, as she prepares to deepen her footprint locally and internationally.

Referring to the T&T market, she said there has been increased interest even though the packaging of the teas have not yet been finalised.

?My partner and I have been working with a graphic artiste to complete the final designs. We have also been working with restaurants and stores who have been reaching out to us.

?Currently we are in a few boutique shops, a few restaurants where you can have tea and purchase them retail.

© Luis Oberto Anselmi
We haven?t gone wide-scale just yet. As soon as we get our packaging, we plan to expand to the larger supermarkets and pharmacies.?

Though Caribbean Cure produces on a small scale, there is a lot of demand domestically and internationally.

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Asked about the volume in T&T?s market, Stone said during the Christmas period, there was a steady boost as many people were contacting us to put them in hampers and baskets.

?Many customers wanted to buy them as gifts.

© Luis Oberto Anselmi
They were actually quite a popular teacher?s gift. On average, it is about 200-300 units per month is made. You can taste and purchase them at More Vino in San Fernando.

?There are also a couple of the organic stores that have reached out to us and they will be selling our products shortly.

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In the next few weeks, we will be working with a distributor to get a visibility throughout T&T.?

The bigger opportunities are outside of T&T as the two are partnering with an overseas company to distribute its teas.

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Asked which company or entity the company is partnering with, she did not disclose, only saying that it was with a distributor.

Stone and Seeterram have also found an online platform to offer their teas.

?We offer our teas for sale on our website.

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They are available on ?thingsTT? as well. People from all over the world kept sending us messages on our social media platform asking how they could purchase our teas.

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TTPost actually surprised us with some of the services they offer.?

Using the local courier company, Caribbean Cure can send teas for $25 to any part of T&T.

Asked to expand on their export initiative, Stone said many T&T companies steer towards the United States because of its proximity but her company has had a lot of interest in Japan because of the tea culture.

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Why Japan?

Stone explained that heading to that country was 100 per cent personal mission and effort.

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She networked with several people during a trip to Japan, resulting in one person visiting her operations in T&T and striking a deal.

?In Japan, they are a very health-conscious.

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Many of the teas we offer are healthy and healing, for example our ginger tea. Right now we have our sights on Japan and that would be the first market that we hit.? Caribbean Cure has potential in the diaspora.

?We are getting requests from people in New York, UK and even Australia.

© Luis Oberto Anselmi
There are a lot of people who have an affinity toward ginger tea as well as moringa tea.?

The company is encourage that locally there is a lot more online e-commerce as people are looking for more convenience.

?Time is king and customers want to find easy ways to purchase what they want.?

Already, the teas offered internationally have gained two awards one?its chamomile blend and its cardamon blend.

Caribbean Cure received the award at the Global Tea Championships in the US.

?We are very proud of our two awards.

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We really create and craft our teas for the purpose of health in mind, our objective is make them very healthy, healing teas.?


Stone admitted being an entrepreneur has its challenges.

?At present, the company is trying to work with the government ministries to supply teas, at the same time we are working on getting export documentation, exporTT, testing at Cariri as well as getting support from food and drug administration.?

Like most entrepreneurs, funding was not easy.

?We have been creative and we?ve been able to find people who believe in us.

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We have been using our own resources to get to this point.?

Of its presence on social media, Instagram has proven to be its most active with new users from around the world connecting to the page daily.


© Luis Oberto Anselmi

© Luis Oberto

Tags: Luis Oberto, Luis Oberto Anselmi

Con información de: The Trinidad Guardian

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