Far Out Flying Saucer Teas Success With SCORE
It was a passion for tea, rather than a firm vision for a business, that led Shauneen McElroy to her business concept and eventually to entrepreneurial success. She had been creating herbal tea blends for five years and thought that starting a tea shop would be a natural next step. After careful planning and consideration, Shauneen and her SCORE mentor, Karen Grellas, landed on the Far Out Flying Saucer teas concept instead.
Far Out Flying Saucer Teas, founded in 2010, is a purveyor of USDA organic fine herbs and teas. The business started out selling retail online and has now expanded to a variety of retail outlets across California. According to an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Dario Dickinson, general manager of the Food Bin, said, “We’ve done many orders and re-orders. That is unusual for something brand new. Real connoisseurs of organic tea are recognizing it’s the highest quality.” Other stores have reported that customers are “crazy for this tea” and visit the store especially for it.
SCORE mentor Karen Grellas helped Shauneen discover what form her business concept should take. Together they worked on business plans for her tea room concept including full pro forma income statement projections. This planning helped Shauneen realize the large initial investment required for a retail location. Together they evaluated several options and ultimately ended up choosing a wholesale tea business which could be started from her home instead.