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Tea Business Boot Camp

This one-of-a-kind, two-day, intensive and hands-on program covers critical topics facing the tea entrepreneur as well as provides a solid foundation of tea education. The faculty is made up of top notch educators and experienced experts successfully working in the tea industry today.

Day one is all business. Topics include the basics of tea business, marketing, legal, purchasing and inventory, and Tea 101. Day two is all about the leaf and includes World Origin Tasting Tour- a program exploring 7 countries of origin and their teas.

Packed with education and networking opportunities, TBBC provides the training and knowledge you need to run a successful tea business—right from the start.


Tuesday, May 27
  Wednesday, May 28
Six hours of intensive education by leading industry experts   World Origin Tasting Tour
Breakfast and Lunch   Luncheon
Exclusive TBBC Networking Reception   Graduation Ceremony

 **Tea Business Boot Camp Registration also includes admission to the Exhibit Hall!

Tuesday, May 27

7:00 am-8:00 am Breakfast and Check-In    
8:00 am-8:30 am Welcome & Introductions   George Jage
8:30 am-9:30 am The Basics of Tea Business The most successful tea entrepreneurs leverage a comprehensive understanding of the industry to capitalize on the opportunities present in wholesale, retail, food-service and E-commerce. This session will focus on Best Practices and common pitfalls in each of these market segments. You CAN succeed if you understand the competitive landscape and how to take advantage of the opportunities while avoiding mirages and financial quicksand.   Peter Martino
9:30 am-9:45 am Tea Break    
9:45 am-10:45 am Basic Legal for Tea Room Owners Tax IDs, resale certificates, local DBAs, inspections from the health department to the fire department, labeling requirements, employment laws, trademark and copyright – the list goes on and on. Even the most knowledgeable tea professional realizes that starting and growing a tea business requires more than just knowing proper temperatures and steep times. This class provides the attendee with a step-by-step guide through the legal maze, and with detailed information on who to contact for State-specific information.   Kristen Schneider
10:45 am-10:55 am Break    
10:55 am-12:15 pm Marketing and Capturing Customers This interactive class will teach you to cultivate customers with cost-effective marketing tools, including newsletters, direct mail, special events and online promotions. Learn how to capture customers and manage them in a database. Learn the do’s and don’ts of successful copywriting. Discover common design pitfall to avoid and what elements to get your marketing piece noticed. Find out easy ways to begin establishing yourself as an expert and how to secure speaking engagements, free media, Web exposure and cross-promotions in your community. Leave with a resource list and the motivation to begin executing a plan that is right for your business to capture, retain and market your target customers.     Beth Johnston
12:15 pm-1:15 pm Lunch    
1:15 pm-2:15 pm Accepting Credit and Debit Cards Whether you have an online tea business or a brick-and-mortar storefront, accepting credit and debit cards is a necessity in today’s business world. Today’s technology has shifted what was once a ‘complicated and difficult to compare’ business expense to a ‘simpler and less costly’ option. Businesses, banks and vendors who are rapidly losing market share to cheaper, simpler and better processing solutions are at best, scared and trying to adapt, and at worst, lying and spreading misinformation to keep people paying higher fees. This class will teach you the about merchant processing accounts, contracts, fee structures, new-cutting edge options and how to pay the least possible amount in fees.    Jack Groot
2:15 pm-2:30 pm Break    
2:30 pm-3:30 pm What Do I Charge Setting your retail prices is one of the most critical decisions you make. And unfortunately most people use the W.A.G. method to do this (Wild Assed Guess). In this session Bill Waddington will teach a system for determining the best individual pricing structure for your particular operation. All participants will receive an Excel spreadsheet, written specifically for the retail tea business, that they can customize and use in their own operations.   Bill Waddington
3:30 pm-3:45 pm Tea Break    
3:45 pm-5:00 pm Tea 101 - Intro for World Origin Tasting Tour Participants will learn about the tea plant and how its leaves and leaf buds are made into black, green, oolong, white, pu-erh and flavored teas. With a wide variety of photographs and short pieces of film, the class will explain how the different types of teas are manufactured.   Jane Pettigrew
5:00 pm-5:15 pm Tea Break    
5:15 pm-6:15 pm Life After TBBC Abigail St. Clair, a 2009 Tea Business Boot Camp graduate, concludes our program with an informational & inspirational message for current students. Abigail opened two successful tea stores and launched a successful e-commerce site upon completion of her TBBC program.  Abigail will share her biggest successes and biggest mistakes following boot camp, along with advice she received, things she wished she’d had known then, her greatest challenges and best decisions during the first year. This is your opportunity to get questions answered by one of our most successful boot camp graduates.   Abigail St. Clair
6:15 pm-7:15 pm  TBBC Networking Reception    
Wednesday, May 28
8:30 am-4:45 pm World Origin Tasting Tour Attention passengers please take your seats and buckle your seat belts for an unbelievable day trip around the world of tea. This full day session (taken as a standalone or as Day 2 of New Business Boot Camp) is a highly interactive, educational, and entertaining program of the tastes and cultures of the most important growing regions in the world. Once we land at each destination, an expert tour guide will lead us on a journey through their country, showcasing the beauty of the places our beloved beverage comes from. At each destination, we will sample between several teas giving you a solid understanding of the flavors and fragrances of each origin. But don’t get too immersed as we will be back on the plane many times as we visit 8 major origins throughout the day. Lunch is included with this program. Be sure to arrive with an open mind and an empty bladder.     
5:00 pm-6:00 pm TBBC Graduation