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Purcellville Blog: Dominion Tea creates a stir in Loudoun

Facebook/Dominion Tea
When local residents Hillary Coley and her husband David opened Dominion Tea several years ago, they were both looking for a second career after having spent years in finance and technology sales, respectively.

Hillary is a life-long tea drinker and it was a staple during her childhood. Her husband had the opportunity to spend time in Japan many years ago and discovered an appreciation for the many varieties of Japanese teas, and his interest grew from there.

Inspired by their mutual love of history, culture and the impact of both on trade, tea presented an opportunity to share a love of a product that is the second most consumed beverage – next to water – on earth and has both been impacted by - and made significant impacts to - global trade, history and culture.

Dominion Tea began as an on-line business in the spring of 2014, and the Coleys added wholesale shortly after that before opening their retail business and tasting room in December 2015 on N. 21st Street in Purcellville. The shop presented an opportunity for them to have a location to help people learn about and explore the diverse world of tea, Hillary Coley said.

“It was also a convenient way to invite owners and buyers from restaurants, coffee shops, boutique hotels, and other potential wholesale customers to step out of their day to day and explore what a high quality tea program can be,” Coley added.

The Coleys have seen their business grow about 300 percent over the past three years. Their online business continues to grow steadily and consistently, and having a retail location has helped significantly as a destination for tea lovers and an opportunity to educate individuals who want to try tea and want to help find a good starting point.

“We have been lucky to partner with a number of great businesses in the area that are looking to move beyond a grocery store tea product in favor of a much higher quality loose tea experience,” Coley said.

In October, Dominion Tea expanded their product line to offer tea sachets in their six best selling flavors – English Breakfast, Shenandoah Blue, Pear Raspberry Green, Jasmine Green, Yunnan Sunrise and Ginger Honeybush.

“We are looking forward to partnering with more fine dining, bed and breakfast and boutique hotels, and others looking for a high quality tea product in an easy to serve package,” Coley said.
Dominion Tea designed the tea bags with a material that could compost but not affect the flavor of the tea. It is a fabric made from plant starch which was purchased from a Japanese company.

They sent 240 pounds of tea to a packaging company in Pennsylvania where the sachets were assembled – 36,000 so far. A box of sachets sells for $9.99.

While Hillary is still a big believer in serving loose-leaf tea, she understands many people find making tea with a sachet or teabag faster and easier.

“Sometimes you have to meet people where they are and that is why we did so much research to allow us to keep our loose-leaf tea in a high-quality biodegradable sachet,” Coley said.
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