Stirring up interest in tea boutique

A TEA boutique and cafe offering teas from around the world is among the finalists in an Evening News-backed Dragons’ Den-style contest to win business mentoring.

Eteaket on Frederick Street is one of six new businesses to be shortlisted in the Local Business Accelerators contest, which also offers the chance to win advice from TV “dragon” Deborah Meaden and free advertising.

Erica Moore and husband Stewart, both 34, set up the business in December 2008 and plan to expand by opening up “tea bars” across the UK.

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The mother-of-one from Portobello said: “I’m just looking for any help that I can because a lot of people have the impression when they walk in to eteaket that we are a big company and have got lots of backing and money behind us, but in actual fact it’s just me and my husband.

“He’s working full-time and I’m working on the business and looking after a baby at the same time.

“We are absolutely passionate about our business and about our plans for the future, so I’m just looking for any sources of help possible.

“This competition is a fantastic chance to get some local advertising, which would really help us to push our plans forward. We have not got much of an advertising budget, so if we’re successful it would give us a chance to speak to people directly and let them know what we’re doing.”

The nationwide Local Business Accelerators competition has attracted more than 3000 entrants and will see 1500 firms across the UK receive £15 million of free advertising.

Joining eteaket on the shortlist are social enterprise Greetings from Leith; Vertex eCommerce in South Queensferry; Market Prepare in Prestonpans; Gardening Services Edinburgh in Colinton; and AM Lettings, based in Dalkeith.

Three winners will be selected next month, with the trio receiving free advertising in the News and a three-month mentoring programme.

They will also go forward to the final round for the chance to be mentored for a year by Ms Meaden, and win an advertising campaign by a top London agency.

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Eteaket offers more than 42 different types of loose leaf tea. Mrs Moore explained: “I’m a massive tea fan but didn’t discover loose leaf tea until about five and a half years ago. I used to be a lawyer in London and got a little bit jaded with it, and wasn’t sure I could do it for the next 30 years.

“I discovered loose leaf tea and thought there should be somewhere on the high street where you can get a proper cup of loose leaf tea. I decided to quit my job and set up eteaket, which is a bit of a change from law.”