The perfect blend: success in hard work and collaboration

The PIVOT series featuring: Honest Leaf Tea Company

The PIVOT series shines a spotlight on our resilient customers during a year of unprecedented disruption. Those who are pivoting to survive, thrive, and connect with their customers in a new way.

Meet the Honest Leaf Tea Company, an entrepreneurial business that found success blending and distributing loose leaf wellness teas founded in 2012 by Shelby Kroach, a registered nutritionist.

Kroach was ready for a record-breaking year in 2020. Her business had established strong food-service connections and her loose-leaf tea blends could be found in restaurants, hotels and spas, cafes, and local boutique shops. When lockdown affected those distribution channels, it was time for a re-think.

Photograph of round tea tins scattered on a white-marble counter top with colourful labels of the tea names of Honest Leaf blends as follows Earl Grey, Slim, Sencha, Boost, Sooth, Nourish, Relieve, Detox, and Crave.
Product labels for Honest Leaf Tea Company printed by TPH Canada.

“Keep your head up and understand this is not forever”

Over the past year, Kroach has shifted her business to diversify her distribution using e-commerce and engaging with customers on social media to build new audiences. Her drive to continue to grow the business, her thoughtful insight into changing consumer behaviour, and a willingness to try new things have allowed Honest Leaf Tea Company to thrive this year.

Three photographs of Honest Leaf products including the high-tea set pictured in a box. Set includes a candle, loose leaf teas, cookied, jams, and other goodies. Second image shows two loose leaf tea bags and the third image shows a self-care tea set in a box that mixes tea with lotions, hair ties, and other products.

“Where one door closed, there were other doors to explore..”

Leaning into her online store, Kroach got creative with themed tea boxes. Her loose-leaf blends paired with local goods to build unique sets for tea lovers at home. The tea boxes work perfectly as gifts for anyone looking for a way to connect even when it’s not possible in person. High-tea at home and the self-care collection allow family and friends to share their love along with a cup of tea over a video chat.

While continuing to serve a number of re-sellers and supply private-label teas, the focus on online sales proved to be a sustainable addition in a year of disruption.

Three images of Honest Leaf tea products. First image shows matcha sold in tins, second image shows a stylised photo of tea with local wine and the third image shows a valentine's day set pairing tea with cookies.

 “If you don’t try you’ll never know”

Another surprising pivot was a shift towards increased collaboration with fellow small businesses. Kroach says the community support from other business owners is an incredible boost and a great way to grow her business via Instagram. Running giveaways and creating bright, engaging content is a huge contributor to growing her brand amongst new customers.

It’s a clever way to spread word of mouth, in a socially distant world. Creatively using tools like Instagram creates social proof within the network that quickly grows referrals and new customers alike.

The complexity of running a business, having two small children at home, and learning to live within the new rules set by a global pandemic has affirmed one thing for Shelby Kroach. A ‘secret’ to success is that first, you must believe you are capable. Pivoting, learning, and growing this year have added to the skills and confidence of this resilient business owner.

Loose-leaf tea by the Honest Leaf tea company is lined up showcasing 7 different blends available to order - Relieve, Serene, Fresh, Detox, Slim, Boost, Roast.

“TPH is a pleasure to work with- everything just gets done. It’s always a great experience and that’s why I come back!”
-Shelby Kroach, Honest Leaf Tea Company

Thanks for reading!

About Honest Leaf Tea Company
The Honest Leaf is a line of loose leaf wellness teas created by Registered Nutritionist, Shelby Kroach. Our goal is to provide our community with authentic blends that help to nourish and support a healthy mind and body. See more at https://www.honestleaf.com/

About TPH Canada
Feeling inspired to get moving on your own project? Shop online or contact your local TPH Manager to chat about your next idea.

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