Who doesn’t love tea? Now that the weather is inching towards our colder seasons, it’s the perfect time to enjoy your favorite type of tea. We met the owner of Steepers, Julie Davey, while exploring downtown Campbell earlier this summer. Her watermelon oolong tea is a fantastic choice, and we strongly urge you to check out her shop!
Wonderland Organics: How did Steepers come about?
Julie Davey: If you had said 2 years ago that I would own a tea store, I would have looked at you in amazement. The thing is, I’ve never cared for tea. As a young child, I used to take a sip of my parents PG Tips and found it bitter with an aftertaste that I just didn’t care for. (I think they actually stewed their tea, rather than steeping it). So for most of my life, I’ve been a coffee drinker.
So what changed this? I was laid off work and decided I didn’t want to work for ‘the man’ any longer. So what could I do? My daughter suggested I open a tea shop along the lines of finger sandwiches and tea and I knew that was not for me. However, I inadvertently hit on a store on the East Coast that sold tea and spice and something about it truly resonated. So I began doing research. Lots of research! I also began tasting loose teas and then realized what a wonderful taste experience I had been missing out on all these years.
Wonderland Organics: We’re so glad that you’ve found your calling! What does a typical workday look like?
Julie Davey: Preparing fresh iced teas; bagging teas; always ensuring a clean environment; chatting with customers, many who know very little about tea and are interested in learning; researching and creating new tea recipes. Back at home, making the labels and marketing that’s needed. Placing orders. It’s many hours of work and it’s stressful, yet it’s still less stressful than working for someone else. I love walking in the mornings to begin work.
Wonderland Organics: Your teas truly are delicious! Where can we find Steepers?
Julie Davey: Downtown Campbell, at 346 E. Campbell Avenue, Campbell, CA. 95008
Wonderland Organics: We’re sure that there will be plenty of tea lovers flocking to your store. What is your favorite type of tea or tea blend?
Julie Davey: I get that question asked a lot. The beauty of tea is that everyone’s taste is so different. What tastes good to me would not necessarily taste good to you. (But I am enjoying the oolong right now!)
Wonderland Organics: Personally, we love green tea the most. What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Julie Davey: For me, knowing that the store I created was 100% me: the design, the marketing, you name it. The only thing that wasn’t me was the construction, and I would have done that if I could have. I love the compliments I receive and I believe the store reflects my vision perfectly: it had to have a large selection, it had to be an American store and men had to feel comfortable being there.
Wonderland Organics: We admire the way that you set your shop up! Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs?
Julie Davey: Before leasing anywhere, put together a business plan and include your market research. If you plan on opening anything relating to food, it will take longer than you thought. Whatever you have budgeted, triple that amount. On opening day, look at what you have created and marvel – you did it!
Wonderland Organics: Thanks for the great advice, Julie! What’s your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics website/blog?
Julie Davey: I like the fact that you are interviewing entrepreneurs and I believe your passion should carry you far.
Thanks so much to Julie Davey of Steepers for talking to us today! If you’re interested in buying her lovely tea and tea blends, feel free to check out her B&M store in downtown Campbell, and visit her social media sites via Facebook or website.
What’s your favorite type of tea? Let us know in the comments below!