It’s time for tea this week as award winning business partners Mark Davison and Jason Larrosa unveil a new venture.
The enterprising entrepreneurs scooped the small enterprise accolade at the last Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence for their Segway Isle of Man business.
Now they are preparing to launch the Tea Junction in Castle Street, Douglas on Friday (May 8).
It will offer a selection of 22 loose leaf teas served in surroundings that they say can only be described as distinctly European; innovative, quirky and elegant but also fun.
Mark’s passion for tea was aroused nearly 10 years ago when he started drinking green Sencha tea on a visit to Japan.
He said: ‘We wanted to create a trendy but urban environment where people can sit down and relax over a cup of tea, perhaps with a pastry or a buttered crumpet or maybe later in the day a glass of wine or one of our stimulating gin infusions.’
The Tea Junction has sourced Pekoe Tea in Edinburgh as its supplier of loose leaf teas and herbal infusions.
Pekoe, which has its own tea shop in Edinburgh, has supplied The Tea Junction with 20 of their most frequently ordered teas.
Mark, who recently gave up his job as IT manager with law firm Appleby after 15 years there to devote all his energies to The Tea Junction said: ‘We are, first and foremost, a ‘‘tea shop’’ in an environment saturated with coffee shops and cafes. The tea bag market is shrinking as people’s tastes are becoming more discerning and the market for speciality teas is on the increase.
‘No one here in the island is taking tea as seriously as we are, we certainly believe there is a gap in the sector for a dedicated tea shop.
‘Our goal is to establish a small business which stands out from the crowd in several ways. We plan to have a separate tea menu and to display the teas in a fancy wooden presentation box which customers can take to their table so they can see and smell the actual tea before they order.’
Jason said: ‘For more than a year we have scoured tea shops across the UK for ideas in addition to our own in what we believe is an exciting new concept for the island.
‘We have researched and know about the teas we are serving and will be more than happy to share our enthusiasm and knowledge with customers. We will also offer a range of light lunches and our cakes will be home made, many of them by Mark.
‘His Rocky Road is pretty phenomenal.’ In October 2012 Mark and Jason set up Segway Isle of Man, bringing something new to the island.
The business has been a soaraway success leading to Jason giving up his career in the finance sector because of the demand for the extensive Segway tours on the beaches, forests and promenades.