Happy Earth Tea at South Wedge Achieves National Recognition in Bon Appétit Magazine

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ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – A local tea shop is featured in one of the top food and drink magazines.

Happy Earth Tea, located in South Wedge, is recognized in this month’s issue of Bon Appetit.

It is one of the few companies to source its products from tea plantations around the world.

Owner Niraj Lama started selling products on the public market in 2010. From there, he says, business took off.

“Once I moved from India to Rochester, I felt that was one of the things I could contribute to the community,” Lama said. “Tea has so much to offer a person in terms of health benefits, benefits that you can enjoy both in body and mind.”

Lama opened a brick and mortar store in 2016, before expanding over the years.

He says an important part of business is experience.

“What we’re trying to do is provide the therapeutic benefits. We only focus on tea, we don’t do food here,” Lama said. “Our customers have responded enough for us to grow even during the pandemic. We moved to this new location last summer from our old location which was smaller than the one we have now. »

Lama says more people started experimenting with tea when the pandemic hit. It has become a ritual for many who have started working from home. As a result, the business exploded with take-out and online orders.

Of course, there are still challenges to running a business during a pandemic. Lama says shipping prices have gone up and staffing has been difficult.

“If I didn’t have a bigger goal, it would exhaust me. But because I love what tea represents, I love that it is a positive product that not only benefits our customers, but also the people who work in the tea fields. We can connect these two worlds, that’s a huge motivation,” Lama said.

Being recognized in one of the most prestigious gastronomic magazines is a gratifying feeling for Lama.

“The writer mainly featured our Darjeeling offerings, the very few sources that have direct links to tea gardens like us.”

Happy Earth Tea is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday. You can also find their products on tea company website.

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