Amidst the political whirlwind of 2016, we took a significant step in our business with the opening of Leaf Tea Bar in a charming Rochester, NY neighborhood. This brick-and-mortar avatar of Happy Earth Tea came after nearly 12 years of nurturing the dream which began with our first business, Darjeeling Tea Exclusive founded in 2005 in Darjeeling, India. We took small steps to ensure we learned enough about the craft of tea and running a business. But most importantly, by making sure that our small family was ready for the challenge of owning and operating a brick-and-mortar business therefore, we waited until our children attended school.
It is truly a wonderful blessing to foster a tea community here in Rochester, NY. Tea fits perfectly with this town that is full of wonderful and kind people. It gives us great satisfaction to tell the stories of our teas and prepare them for many of you. Some of these teas happen to be from the land where I was born which gives me infinite joy to connect you to a little part of my heritage.
We also consider ourselves lucky to be in the South Wedge neighborhood which has a strong community of committed neighbors and successful businesses. The warm welcome and support from the neighborhood makes our cup overflow with gratitude. Our hope is that we bring to the community something that they can be proud of, and something that brings them even closer together. In that spirit during the grand opening of Leaf, the Enkyoji Buddhist Temple of Rochester consecrated our space but also blessed the all the neighboring shops.
Our offerings in 2016 stayed focused on premium organic teas from Darjeeling, Nepal, Taiwan and Japan while adding several new teas and blends. We are working towards expanding our offerings further, and it will be our main emphasis in 2017. The introduction of heavy-roast Tie Guan Yin from Anxi, China is one of the teas we were proud to introduce at the close of 2016.
It is also important to note that as part of our mission to “brew happiness one cup at a time” our support for the AMA Foundation in Nepal and 1% for the Planet will continue this year. As many of you know, 10% of our Nepal tea sales is donated to AMA that runs a home and school for under-privileged children in Nepal. We are happy to report that due to increased Nepal tea sales, we are able to do more to help extremely poor children in Kathmandu. Thank you for your support towards our social goals.
We look forward to 2017 with great optimism. This year Happy Earth Tea and Leaf Tea Bar will offer carefully and lovingly sourced teas that we hope will delight and comfort you through whatever the year may bring.
May your cup always be full with peace, joy and good health. Thank you for being part of our journey.