Southwest Florida Tea Store Provides a ‘Blue Zone’ Expertise

Doug Thompson and Diana Totorova (Photograph courtesy of Estero Bay Olive Oil & Tea)

Estero Bay Olive Oil & Tea resides in Southwest Florida
and presents a broad scope of high-quality olive oils, balsamic vinegars and teas,
in addition to an environment by which neighborhood bonds can blossom.

Co-founders Doug Thompson and Diana Todorova opened the tea
and olive oil store in November 2018 with the mission of offering a neighborhood
area in a locale that was missing in its vary of actions. Thompson had
earlier entrepreneurial expertise because the proprietor of two olive oil shops
in Florida. “Together with tea on this retailer has been a enjoyable a part of the method,”
stated Thompson. Todorova labored as a globetrotting tv journalist in
Bulgaria previous to immigrating to the US.

They observed a scarcity of cultural actions in South Florida and
eating places by which clients have been hurried by the eating expertise. They
determined to create a extra European expertise for patrons, one by which individuals
may linger, be social get pleasure from top of the range olive oil and tea and soak within the
ambiance. A dwell tree in the midst of the shop offers the sensation of being
in a park. A neighborhood desk presents a possibility for individuals to work together
with one another.

Estero Bay Olive Oil & Tea inside (Photograph courtesy of Diana Totorova and Doug Thompson)

They have been additionally impressed by the ebook The Blue Zones of Happiness: Classes From the World’s Happiest Folks,
by Dan Buettner, and printed by the Nationwide Geographic Society. It’s a
examine that examines the happiest pockets of the world. “One of many issues they
decided is that the happiest communities are those who have a way of
neighborhood the place individuals discuss and meet and get to know one another,” stated
Thompson. Estero Bay Olive Oil & Tea is at present within the means of
turning into Blue
Zone Licensed, that means the enterprise pledges to advertise well being and
well-being initiatives.

Todorova’s Bulgarian childhood dwelling was additionally influential. Her
mother and father’ property had wild herbs her mom used to reap and brew for
completely different wellness functions. “We had this very natural, homeopathic method,”
stated Todorova. “The tea retailer was a pure development of that wholesome
way of life.”

Thompson and Todorova needed to serve the health-oriented
individuals of Estero Bay and Naples, Florida. Olive oil and tea are each identified for
their polyphenol content material. The store carries 35 olive oils, 45 balsamic vinegars
and 70 teas. 

(Photograph courtesy of Diana Totorova and Doug Thompson)

They permit clients to style the olive oils, balsamic
vinegars and teas and supply weekly occasions, resembling Afternoon Tea events each
different Sunday with dwell jazz music. Additionally they host Tasty Tuesdays biweekly,
throughout which individuals have the chance to improvise with drizzling completely different
olive oils and balsamic vinegars on their meals, salads, bruschetta and
appetizers whereas accompanying the meals with tea.

“It looks like younger individuals actually get pleasure from having a spot to
go and sit at a tea bar and have tea,” stated Thompson. “They grow to be tea
regulars.”

Moreover, the store hosts lessons, resembling Olive Oil 101,
which teaches the advantages of olive oil, and a category on the origin of English
Afternoon tea. Subsequent, they may supply a category protecting Japanese teas and in
which college students use conventional Japanese teaware. The shop additionally hosts occasions
for native organizations.

Launching the
Enterprise

(Photograph courtesy of Diana Totorova and Doug Thompson)

Estero Bay Olive Oil & Tea is positioned within the Coconut
Level outside mall in Estero, Florida, a couple of minutes’ drive from the seaside. Thompson
and Todorova signed the lease Aug. 1, 2018 and opened the shop Nov. 20, 2018.
Throughout that point interval, they got here up with the identify, brand, and web site and
Thompson constructed many of the furnishings for the shop.

“One of many challenges lately is making an attempt to determine
your advertising technique,” stated Thompson, and advisable that aspiring
entrepreneurs determine their advertising technique previous to opening a enterprise. Their
advertising measures embody providing discounted teas of the month, in addition to
giveaways on their Instagram web page and have discovered occasions to be an efficient method
to draw clients.

Coconut Level mall used to have a Teavana outlet and when
Starbucks closed the shop, it left a void that Estero Bay Olive Oil & Tea
is filling. Nonetheless, in contrast to Teavana, Thompson and Todorova don’t imagine in setting
every day gross sales quotas for his or her staff, “We don’t do any onerous promoting… and I
suppose the purchasers recognize that,” stated Thompson. As a substitute, their well-trained
staff educate clients concerning the merchandise.

Nonetheless, all advertising apart, Todorova nonetheless feels having
high quality merchandise that clients like is the important thing to having a profitable enterprise,
along with being receptive to clients’ suggestions.

They hope to develop and open extra shops in different
states.

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