Genuine Tea co-founders, Sarah Wilcox and David O’Connor, took up residence in Taiwan for five years, where they steeped in the local tea scene, learned Mandarin and traveled through 20 different countries around Asia to source their handcrafted, artisan teas.
The tea-loving twosome started out small, selling their teas at local farmer’s markets and through independent Toronto-area coffee shops. But then, in 2019, Genuine Tea appeared on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, partnered with investor and businesswoman Arlene Dickinson and saw their sales triple.
“That whole Dragon’s Den experience is what really propelled us to the next level,” says David.
But what the tea leaves couldn’t tell them was that a global pandemic would bring their business to a crashing halt.
“A lot of our café partners ended up having to close their doors, so we really had to figure out how to navigate that challenge and shift our business,” says Sarah.