Behind The Brand: SereniTEA & Zoetic | Fair Trade & Certified Organic Tea
Date Posted:3 May 2023
A cuppa is more than just tea. It's a stretch, a breather, a catch up with friends. A good cup of tea makes such a difference to your day, and can really uplift you and keep you going. We’re so proud to stock SereniTEA and Zoetic, two amazing fairtrade, certified organic tea brands from this Melbourne mother and son team.
Here’s our little interview with son and co-founder Ashish Sharma.
1. What made you decide to start your own brand and company? Where did the idea come from? What was the inspiration?
It actually started off with a phone conversation between my mother and myself, whilst I was overseas studying. She saw a gap in the tea market for a sustainable choice (she was actually looking for corporate gifting ideas) and asked me about my interest in starting a venture together. From there we worked on the name and sourcing for Organic and Fairtrade certified tea suppliers, and then knocking on the doors of cafes around Melbourne.
2. In a few sentences, how would you describe your brand and products? And what makes your brand and products so unique and different to other products on the market?
We focus on sustainability by exclusively sourcing Organic certified tea products, as well as Fairtrade certified where possible (currently our range is entirely Fairtrade). On top of this, we try to use sustainable packaging options where possible, and are working this year towards being plastic free.
Our difference, though, probably lies in our quality – we have strict protocols when sourcing and blending our teas each season to ensure a consistent quality and taste. Finally, we have tried to focus on our packaging to help it reflect the standard of the product. Our SereniTEA brand exuded a feeling of luxury and elegance, whilst our Zoetic brand is bright and vibrant.
3. Out of all your products, which is your personal favourite and why? (We know this one is hard – we love all our children the same right?)
Lemongrass & Ginger all the way. Detoxing, energising and a nice kick at the end!
4. What motivates you on a day-to-day basis?
Very tough question – I think we are in a unique position to have a family business so the connection we have together has only been made stronger with our work together in the business. Together we motivate each other I think.
5. What have been your biggest work challenges so far?
Educating people on the importance of Organic and Fairtrade certifications for a product like tea, and trying to compete with conventional brands where customers can be price conscious.
6. Tell us about an achievement that you’re super proud of and happy about. Have you been nominated or won an award, got featured somewhere or just received amazing feedback from your customers?
I remember one customer came to a trade show and told us he’d been buying our product for 8 years, and said the quality hadn’t changed in his time having the product. That one definitely stands out personally as this is the part of the business where my own personal passion for the product really shines through.
7. What's next on your horizon and any exciting plans?
This year we will be exploring some adaptogenic and nootropic blends to add to our Zoetic branded range, and then some premium Chinese and Japanese teas to our SereniTEA range.
8. What’s one of the best pieces of advice that you’ve received (either personally or professionally)?
Wow, another tough one. I might answer this a little differently. Over the years I have learnt to keep my drive and ambition in check (which can sometimes lead to impatience) by trying to keep myself grounded in the task in front of me and gratitude for what I have been given. The business is very much a part of that gratitude, and this I have learnt from advice from my business partner and mother.
9. For something a little fun. If you had a magic genie and were granted three wishes, what would they be? Or if you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have only 3 items, what would they be? (How could you possibly pick just one?).
I have only one wish in my personal space, and that is that people recognise the moral value of animals.
10. What’s one thing we’d find on your bucket list?
Fly a plane.
11. What’s one of your best health and wellness tips?
To start ordering your delicious organic and faitrade black tea, green tea and herbal tea for your store, office or clients, all at wholesale prices, you can login right here. And if you don’t have a First Ray Wholesale Account (yet) we can easily fix that. You can sign up for a wholesale account here - it only takes a few minutes. Now, who’s putting the kettle on?