By Sean Muir and Andrew Tweedie
The age-old adage of the humble cuppa being an elixir for life’s ills seems to be underselling the drinks healing properties.
It would seem it may also possess the power to help small businesses survive in trying economic times as more and more open throughout the UK.
Edinburgh is now only second to London for coffee culture thanks to a surprising surge in the number of coffee shops opening, and more importantly staying open, throughout the capital during the recession.
Among the estimated 180 tea and coffee shops that now permeate Edinburgh’s streets, the Tea Tree Tea cafe is one of many recently opened independent establishments to have found a recipe for success.
Tea Tree Tea cafe directors Drew Buchanan and Jamie Russell attribute their success not only to their niche approach of focusing on a wide selection of teas but also their personal relationship with regular customers.
This allows them to maintain a consistent flow of core customers even during seasonal lulls that affect the big brand tea and coffee shops like Starbucks and Costa.
In the same area 4 other similar tea shops have opened and also managed to thrive. Drew and Jamie believe this is because the recession has yet to fully hit small businesses, but are aware times could soon become tougher.
The pair remain optimistic about the future however as plans to open a new site and build on their current success continue unabated.