Southwest Florida Tea Store Provides a ‘Blue Zone’ Expertise

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

Estero, Florida’s Estero Bay Olive Oil & Tea provides all kinds of top of the range olive oils, balsamic vinegars and teas, together with an environment conducive to group bonding.

Co-Founders Doug Thompson and Diana Todorova opened the store in November 2018 with the mission of offering a group house in a locale that was missing in its scope 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,” mentioned Thompson. Todorova labored as a globetrotting tv journalist in Bulgaria previous to immigrating to america.

They observed a scarcity of cultural actions in South Florida and eating places that hurried prospects by means of the eating expertise. They determined to create a extra European expertise for purchasers, one during which folks may linger, socialize, get pleasure from fine quality olive oil and tea and soak within the ambiance. A reside tree in the course of the shop provides the sensation of being in a park and a group desk presents a chance for folks to work together with one another.

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

They had been additionally impressed by the guide The Blue Zones of Happiness: Classes From the World’s Happiest Individuals, by Dan Buettner, and printed by the Nationwide Geographic Society. It’s a research 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 group the place folks discuss and meet and get to know one another,” mentioned Thompson. Estero Bay Olive Oil & Tea is at present within the means of turning into Blue Zone Licensed, which means the enterprise pledges to advertise well being and well-being initiatives.

Todorova’s upbringing was influential. Her dad and mom’ property in Bulgaria had wild herbs her mom used to reap and brew for various wellness functions. “We had this very natural, homeopathic method,” mentioned Todorova. “The tea retailer was a pure development of that wholesome life-style.”

Thompson and Todorova wished to serve the health-oriented
folks 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. 

(Picture courtesy of Diana Totorova and Doug Thompson)

They permit prospects to style the olive oils, balsamic
vinegars and teas and provide weekly occasions, resembling Afternoon Tea events each
different Sunday with reside 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 as if younger folks actually get pleasure from having a spot to
go and sit at a tea bar and have tea,” mentioned Thompson. “They turn out 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’ll provide a category overlaying Japanese teas and in
which college students use conventional Japanese teaware. The shop additionally hosts occasions
for native organizations.

Launching the
Enterprise

(Picture courtesy of Diana Totorova and Doug Thompson)

Estero Bay Olive Oil & Tea is situated within the Coconut
Level out of doors mall in Estero, Florida, a couple of minutes’ drive from the seashore. 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 a lot of the furnishings for the shop.

“One of many challenges today is making an attempt to determine your advertising technique,” mentioned Thompson, and really useful that aspiring entrepreneurs work out their advertising technique previous to opening a enterprise. The co-founders’ 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 entice prospects.

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 consider in setting each day gross sales quotas for his or her workers, “We don’t do any onerous promoting… and I feel the purchasers admire that,” mentioned Thompson. As an alternative, their workers educate prospects concerning the merchandise.

Nonetheless, all advertising apart, Todorova nonetheless feels having high quality merchandise that prospects like is the important thing to having a profitable enterprise, and Thompson believes in being receptive to prospects’ suggestions.

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

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