What isn’t to love about tea? Well, I’ve gone on a mission to meet the masters and merchants of authentic loose leaf teas in East London. Natasha Kelly, owner of Tiosk says that ‘a little luxury everyday, never hurt anybody’. Especially when it’s that first sip in the morning or last in the evening. It’s time to learn about the classics and even tea’s best kept secrets.
How did Tiosk come about?
Tiosk was founded three years ago when myself and long time friend Nicola realised the opportunity for growth in the tea market – long since left behind by coffee and in fact most other beverages. We felt it was time to bring tea into the 21st century (even if it was kicking and screaming!). We plan to lead the way in this change in the perception of tea, sharing all teas best kept secrets.
Being an Independent business is exciting, do you think independent businesses are important?
It’s incredibly exciting! (Warning: It’s also a lot of hard work and can be extremely stressful and challenging on many levels…). Independent businesses is part of what gives a locality its identity. Without it, our local high streets would all but disappear and our cities would potentially become carbon copies of each other. We would lose that unique identity that our many communities across London and the World still have.
What inspires you?
In this day and age we have the World at our fingertips (quite literally thanks to unstoppable advances in technology), so inspiration is often just the tap of a finger away. We are a fortunate generation in this respect, although this speeds everything up, like an old cassette player on fast forward! Travel is also a great source of inspiration, our packaging design was inspired by a visit to the eponymous 10 Corso Como store in Milan, more than 20 years ago, (oh dear I’m giving away our age!).
What is it about East London that you love?
Where to start…. Diversity – cultural, culinary, architectural and much more. We love that our customers are from near and far, sharing traditions and cultural differences that we are lucky enough to be enriched by on a daily basis. Having lived here for the last 12 years, we could not think of a more open, enthusiastic, inquisitive community in which to start our company.
Why did you decide to join the East London Pound?
We love the idea of trading in a local currency that encourages the community to shop locally and businesses to purchase supplies locally. Could it be the answer to the decline of the high street that we are currently seeing? Busy, healthy local high streets and lower carbon footprints – what’s not to like?!
What does the future look like for Tiosk?
We are working on growing our wholesale business and we are developing some exciting new products. Our Broadway Market shop is also continually evolving as we find just the right formula, before beginning to open more stores across London…