“I kind of had said to my husband, ‘I'd love to have a store and see where it goes’ and it's been more than what I had hoped and expected.”
After 17 years of business in downtown Penticton, the owners of Teas & Weaves have put it up for sale for $119,000.
Claire Keys and Fritz Hollenback, co-owners of the shop, have officially listed their business, offering it up as a turnkey operation with in-store training available. The store is also set for a three-year lease.
Keys said she had always wanted to run a shop and many years ago she and her husband made the jump for it.
“He was more rugs and I was sort of into the tea and we sort of combined the two having travelled in different parts of the world,” she said. “Tea and rugs go hand in hand.”
“We've had an amazing journey with it, both of us have been to many places and tea gardens. We are just at a point in our lives where we're saying I want to retire.”
The shop, located at 265 Main Street, originally started on Nanaimo Avenue for the first five years.
“It was amazing. It was a struggle, as always businesses are in the first three to five years….When we first started, everyone says, 'Oh [selling] tea for little old grannies and whatnot.' But I mean, I have over 150 teas, there's a vast world out there and I'm blown away by how many young people are into the teas now. And all the questions they ask. So they're really well informed."
When Keys' lease was coming to an end on Nanaimo, she found her place on Main Street.
“Then it just went to the next level. So it just kind of took off from there and started gaining momentum.”
When they first started, Keys said the shop was simply teas and rugs. As the business expanded, they started building on the merchandise and featuring different items, like Turkish glassware, Canadian mukluks and Australian hats.
Over the years, the store would earn multiple awards, including best new business and an Excellence award, and started gaining a loyal customer base, from locals to tourists.
"My best months of the year are November and December, which tells me I'm really supported locally by a lot of people. And then I find tourists do a lot of online sales,” Keys added.
“We ship across Canada, I've actually got a couple of customers in the States that really like our tea. We've got a good standard.”
Keys said the store became her “pride and joy.”
“My husband, sometimes says ‘Why?’ she added with a laugh. “But I think it's more just being recognized for the achievement that we've done. I'm really passionate about tea, and I love people coming in and asking.”
She now hopes it can be passed on to someone who will take the business to the next level.
“My best goal would be turnkey. So I would like to say, one day I'm here and the next day, somebody else has just carried on with the store as is. And in saying that obviously, they're going to put in their mark as they grow. Because there's so much potential that is open to it.”
Keys isn’t moving out of town either and said she’d be happy to help anyone on their journey with the store.
“It's done well. So I would hate to see it fold and I'm hoping that won't come to that.”
She said the right person would love tea, be passionate about the world, being in business and meeting people.
The beloved local shop has been well supported over the years and has built up quite a legacy.
“I never in a million years kind of thought that this would take off the way it did,” Keys said.
“There's hiccups ups and downs, but overall, it's been really good.”
The Teas & Weaves listing can be viewed online here.