Patrique Goodall could hardly contain her excitement and passion for tea as she sat down with the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday. With wide eyes and an even wider smile, Goodall, the proprietor of Likkle Tea, a local line of premium hand-picked and blended loose leaf teas proclaimed, “ tea is much more than just ingesting a liquid; tea is an experience for me.”
The 28-year-old brand strategist and marketing officer for a local supermarket chain told the Caribbean Business Report that her experience with tea began from an early age.
“Tea has always been an important part of my life and for many people in Jamaica tea is an essential part of being Jamaican,” Goodall remarked. “In the mornings growing up, if you did something otherwise your mother would say ‘Ya eat sweety and yuh nuh drink likkle tea?’ So tea, essentially, is what would start your day and, for many of us, would also be what you have before you go to bed,” she added.
Though Goodall enjoyed the benefits of tea as a child, her pressuring workload in her adult years caused her to become “disconnected from everything’ around her.
“I was working myself sick, emotionally and physically,” she said, adding that it was during this time that she was reintroduced to drinking tea regularly and quickly began to experience its benefits.
“My friend had a car accident and I had to drop her off after work in the afternoons, and everyday we would go home, the first thing her mother would do is make us some tea. And after dinner she would give us some more tea. And when I was feeling anxious, questioning what I would go home to do, her mother would say ‘just drink likkle tea and go to your bed’,” Goodall recalled.
“I started doing it and I tell you my entire body just changed. I was calmer going to bed. In the mornings, instead of having coffee I would drink some black tea and I was very energised.”
Her reintroduction to tea was further enhanced during a stay in Florida, where she was offered flavoured loose leaf teas in the mornings. Goodall recalled that the loose leaf teas were amazing and that sparked her interest in finding some in Jamaica.
But when her search for local loose leaf tea companies came up unsuccessful, this sparked the idea for Goodall to start her own business — so that herself and others could have an enhanced tea experience, while enjoying the health benefits of tea.
Noting that she was surprised at the overwhelmingly positive response she had received towards her new business, one which she started from personal funds, Goodall said she is grateful for the support from her buyers, as she continues to see the impact that Likkle Tea is making in their lives.
“Likkle tea forces you to take time for yourself,” Goodall told the Caribbean Business Report.”In our present world a lot of things give us anxiety. When you turn on the television in the evenings, when you read the paper… these all give us anxiety. And you work, work, work yourself, pay bills, go back to work, pay bills, you are running yourself tired. This is where Likkle Tea comes in. With loose leaf teas you have to have your teaware and the time you take to brew your tea, you can read a devotional, you can pray or meditate, and that can set your tone for the enitre day,” she said,
With Likkle Tea set to celebrate its first anniversary next month, Goodall already has high expectations for the business. Commenting on whether people could see her tea line in supermarkets soon, Goodall noted that the loose leaf business was a niche, and that the conditions present in supermarkets, as it relates to temperature and storage, were not conducive to keeping the leaves in their best state.
However, Goodall has plans of expanding her tea business, which she now operates through social media, into a physical tea shop, where she said people can “come, unwind, experience the joy of tea and have little pastries”.
Beaming with pride and excitement, Goodall said her company currently boasts more than 16 blends — including Pink Shade of Lemonade, Mint Chocolate Truffle, Arabian Nights, Strawberry Mojito, Coconut Escape and fan favourite, Lady Grey and has plans of increasing this number in the near future.
Though most of her herbs are grown locally, Goodall said her tea leaves are currently sourced and flavoured abroad. But she said she has hopes of flavouring her leaves locally so she can have a completely Jamaican product.
Goodall’s advice to young people who want to start their own business is to “just do it!”
“A lot of times persons have an idea and they just sit on it,” Goodall pointed out. “ If you have an idea, if you even have to go slow, you may not know what is going to happen, but just do it! Because sometimes you see some businesses happening and you go, ‘you know I had that idea from a long time ago…if I only knew’. So just do it,” Goodall ended.
By: Cherries Wiles