On the up · 25 September 2015

Bluebird Tea: Reinventing a British staple

Co-founders Mike Turner and KrisI Smith
Co-founders Mike Turner and KrisI Smith
The co-founder of tea mixology company Bluebird Tea Co. sat down with Business Advice to discuss how he’s transforming a British favourite and the difficulty in juggling everything from financing to web design.

After meeting while studying politics at university, Mike Turner and KrisI Smith decided to start a business together. Smith had worked in the tea industry for ten years and having studied mixology in Canada, wanted to bring innovative tea mixology to the UK. With help from a Start Up Loan they set up a tea mixology business Bluebird Tea Co. with a shop in Brighton and a second store opening in Tunbridge Wells.

(1) Who are you and what’s your business?

I’m Mike and my partner KrisI and I created Bluebird Tea Co.

(2) How long have you been around for?

We’ve been trading for just over two years now.

(3) How do you make money?

We create unique and exciting blends of loose leaf tea and retail these directly to customers through our stores and online.

(4) What makes you different and why should people take notice?

We’re reinventing a British staple, using it as a way of inserting a little bit of happiness in to our customers lives.

(5) What was key in terms of getting started?

Everything!? We did everything ourselves for a long time so the difficult thing was quickly having to get a grip on such a range of tasks, from branding to sourcing, operations, financing, pricing to web design, management and marketing etc.


(6) What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Opening our flagship store in Brighton and creating jobs where people really love coming to work are things I’m really proud of.



Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.

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