Jasmine Teahouse is a new tea room in the quaint New England town of Simsbury, Connecticut. Jasmine Teahouse is a Limited Liability Corporation, managed by its owners, Earl and Lady Grey. Earl Grey has five years of experience managing a successful boutique coffeehouse in a similar locale in Maryland. His love and knowledge of teas will make the transition to owning and running a teahouse a natural step. Lady Grey has 3 years of training as an herbalist and worked for 4 years as a teatender in Boston. She is currently training to be a nutritionist; her knowledge of the health benefits of tea will help our marketing and sales efforts.
Jasmine Teahouse will offer a full range of teas (hot and iced), as well as pastries, premium chocolates, tea accessories, and loose teas for taking home or giving as gifts. Lady Grey is a master teatender, and Earl has been learning proper brewing techniques from her for the last four months. We will train all of our teatenders in the proper storage, brewing, and serving of each kind of tea.
The American tea market is growing rapidly. Tea sales have increased 165% over the last fifteen years, with the number of tea rooms offering sit down service rising about 15% to about 1,500 shops. American interest in tea certainly owes some of its increase to the proliferation of gourmet coffee shops around the country in this same period. Most of working America has accepted the idea of expensive hot beverages as affordable luxuries, thanks to the marketing efforts of Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, and so on. At the same time, fashion is always on the move – now that fancy coffee drinks are so widely accepted, savvy consumers are looking for new, more unique treats to enjoy. Starbucks estimates that 7% of its $12 billion annual sales currently come from tea.
In Simsbury, our potential clientele is divided between local residents and tourists (roughly 100,000 per year, in all seasons). We expect to easily generate sales to existing committed tea drinkers, who will immediately recognize the quality of our products and services. Marketing to the much larger local groups who are not yet familiar with premium teas will emphasize our atmosphere (cozy, intimate, luxurious), our prestige-value (high prices, the sophistication of having a favorite “exotic” tea type), and our wide array of potential gifts (gift baskets, chocolates, loose teas and tea accessories). Sales to tourists depend on a highly-visible location, association with the quaint charm of our town, and promotional efforts in cooperation with other local businesses.
We have no direct competitors in our area. Dunkin’ Donuts and a local cafe cannot compete with our upscale approach, and the nearest Starbucks is 5 miles away. Simsbury’s growing affluence and gentrification work in our favor, as our upper-middle class customer base seeks out new status markers and mini-luxury experiences in a convenient, nearby location.
Our well-researched and conservative sales forecasts project sales over $190,000 in the first year, with continued moderate increases through year 3. We project a net profit in the first year of over $13,000, with steadily increasing net worth for the foreseeable future.
The owners are investing $10,330 of their own money into the business. Jasmine Teahouse is seeking an additional 6 year loan of $53,633 to fund our startup costs.
Our goal is to provide the finest premium teas and chocolates to residents of the Simsbury, CT area in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.
- To operate a successful tea and chocolate store in Simsbury, employing one to two employees the first year.
- To obtain a minimum of 200 regular customers in the Simsbury market the first year of operation.
- Achieve first year sales of $190,000.
- Maintain an average gross margin of 58 percent.
- To produce a reasonable net profit by the end of the third year of operation.
1.3 Keys to Success
- Experienced Owners/Managers. Earl and Lady Grey have years of experience in this and related industries.
- Product Quality. We sell only the finest whole-leaf loose teas, pastries, and chocolates.
- Excellent Customer Service. Each customer will be treated as would an honored guest in our homes.
- No direct competition. We are the only teahouse in 20 miles.
- Enough working capital to survive the first year as we build a customer base.
- Broad cross-seasonal offerings. In addition to hot teas, we offer iced teas, chocolates, and gift baskets to cover seasonal variations in customer demand.