Amy Dewey began manufacturing tea to meet a personal need: overcoming her insomnia.
“I started developing tea because I had sleep issues. My insomnia started when I was 18, and I started drinking chamomile tea to help me sleep,” Dewey says.
Thereafter, Dewey began to realize the untapped benefits of herbal tea for many other health issues. “The benefits are endless,” Dewey explains.
So she did the only thing that made sense: she quit her safe, full-time job and started her own company manufacturing all natural, loose leaf herbal tea.
“It was a risk. The job I left was a really good job. But I knew I could not work a full-time job and grow this company. Leaving that job was both the best and the craziest thing that I have ever done. Especially since I was having a baby. But I knew I had to choose to stay in a career working for someone else or try to do this for myself and my family,” Dewey says.
Her family thought that she was crazy. “My family likes routine and consistency. Their generation stayed with a job forever. But I didn’t want to work for someone else anymore.”
Dewey admits that she leaped before she looked. “There was not a lot of planning,” she says. “But we are reaching people, and it is exciting. We have gotten to this point, and it’s only going to get better.”
Manufacturing a healthy and all natural is important to Dewey. To achieve this, Dewey works only with all-natural herbs and ingredients. Though Dewey would like to use more Utah-grown products, many of her ingredients from California. “Some of our ingredients grow better in different climates. But we get our lavender from Utah and our strawberries from Muir Copper Canyon Farms. But when we can get local, we use local.”
Today, Dewdrop Herbal Tea Co. products are sold in a few retail locations in Utah, and Dewey is excited to launch a new website to expand her presence. She expects to place her products in more and bigger locations as consumers are able to try her loose leaf teas.
“Tea consumers are frightening,” Dewey laughs. “They’re knowledgeable about what they like and what they don’t like. But I’ve gotten positive feedback. People like that we do not add any coloring or sweeteners. They like that we are 100 percent natural. Look at some of the ingredients our competitors use. They are not natural. They add sugar and coloring and flavors. We are different because we ‘re aware of everything we put in our products, and we pride ourselves on that.”
Challenges: Dewey faces a competitive market that she expects to become even more competitive in the years to come. “The more our society becomes health conscious, the more competition we will have in the all-natural tea market.” She also faces a local market that tends to avoid tea. The population of Utah County consists predominately of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons. Members in good standing avoid alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea, though herbal teas are allowed. “We have to be very careful about how we word things,” Dewey says. “They have to realize we only use herbs. We have to be sensitive about how we brand our product.”
Opportunities: Dewey expects 2016 to be a big year for Dewdrop Herbal Tea Co. She is moving from being a home-based business into a commercial kitchen, and her new website is being published. “I look forward to ramping up and being bigger. This is the year. It is the year of the tea. As long as we work hard and try do something everyday, it is going to go nuts. And it is going to be awesome.”
Needs: As a new company, Dewey’s two greatest needs come down to money and marketing. She would love a little more financial independence to grow her product but understands better marketing must come first. “We need to get the word out,” she says.