When “passion” really means something: Clare, a passionate producer

Interviewing produces like Clare Jones, The Bellevue Tea Company, just makes you realize what “passion for what you do” means in fact.

She has just come on board at FoodAdo, bringing her beautifully packaged tea, a lot of good energy and a fantastic story:

“My love affair with tea began nearly 25 years ago in Calcutta, as it was there that I first met Mike, my tea-trader husband.”

You listen and you know already you want to know more.

“Tea has been at the heart of my life ever since. From that essential, first cup of tea of the day, to an enjoyable afternoon tea at a friend’s house, I cannot help myself from appraising each and every cup. After years of sharing a life with someone who, quite literally, sniffs the contents of teapots, or dissects teabags in hotels, it was inevitable that I became, as it were, infused with the subject.”

“Over the years, I seem to have become, like my husband has always been, a tea “help desk” to anyone I know, or happen to meet. People do seem to want to talk about tea, and have all sorts of questions… Which tea to drink and where to buy it? Which tea bags are the best at the moment? What gives Earl Grey its flavour? Is this tea any good?

It became clear that the obvious thing to do, with the guidance of my own in-house expert, was to go into the business myself. So, for the last two years I have put much of my energy and enthusiasm into creating and building the Bellevue tea brand.

A trip to Sri Lanka was, of course, essential. I wanted to make sure that I was happy with the way the tea was being produced. I visited the estates where my tea is grown, and met the people where it is packed. I was reassured by what I saw – the people are well treated and proud of their work, and I was made to feel really welcome.

Bellevue tea finally launched in 2008 and the HQ is located in the London Borough of Wandsworth. The company is named after a local, picturesque shopping street called: Bellevue Road, in the heart of South West London.

During our first year in business, Bellevue teas were being sold all over the UK and as we celebrated our company’s first birthday, we were very pleased to welcome Harrods onto the list of stockists! Now in our second year, with demand for our teas growing to include customers in Eire, the USA and Canada, Bellevue tea still feels like a small, “boutique” brand.

Tea is more central to my life than ever before, as anybody who visits my house discovers when they see the tea piled high in the doorway. With the help and encouragement of my husband and my four very patient children, the brand building goes on. There are now five good-looking, fine tasting Bellevue teas - and many more in the pipeline!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas to help choose the newest addition to the Bellevue tea family. Please do get in touch any time, we always enjoy hearing from tea drinkers everywhere. “

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