Scots tea supplier PekoeTea brews up new investment

A flavoured tea supplier is celebrating its tenth anniversary with the opening of a new site in Leith following an investment package as well as support from Business Gateway Edinburgh.

Company founder Jon Cooper and Susan Harkins, head of Business Gateway Edinburgh. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

PekoeTea, which was founded by tea expert Jon Cooper in 2008 and is accredited by the Ethical Tea Partnership, has grown from a small market stall and online business to importing teas directly from around the world and establishing its own blends in its tea shop in the Tollcross area of the Scottish capital.

Following the completion of Business Gateway Edinburgh’s entrepreneurial “Gateway to Investment” programme, which runs three times a year to help businesses seek investment, Cooper successfully secured £40,000 from Apollo Informal Investments to help expand the firm and launch a manufacturing site in Leith.

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The company now sells more than 90 high-grade loose teas and infusions from around the world both in the tea shop and wholesale and is also in the process of expanding into the luxury tea market.

Cooper said: “We are delighted to have been able to expand and move into new premises on our tenth anniversary, creating two new jobs which will help take the business to the next level thanks to everyone who has supported us along the way, including Business Gateway Edinburgh and Apollo Informal Investments.

“More and more clients want a UK-based tea manufacturing and blending company that has a respect for the origins and culture of the tea and that can prove it has a personal relationship with its tea growers around the world, which is something we’ve worked hard to achieve from the very start and are very proud of.

“Following the help we’ve received we can begin to work with even more clients who appreciate ethical and authentic, great tasting loose tea.”

Susan Harkins, head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support PekoeTea over the years in particular to secure investment to expand and open a manufacturing site in Leith and create two new jobs.

“Jon has a fantastic business model and combined with his passion for his brand, ambition and hard work which has really paid off, especially the time he has invested to establish and nurture the relationships with growers and producers across the world, which all makes for the perfect recipe for business growth and success.”

Cooper has visited a number of tea plantations around the world over the last ten years including in China, India and Kenya.