Company opens new 20,000-square-foot building in Ancaster Business Park
Shortly after businessman David Chilton signed on as a partner in the Ancaster-based Steeped Tea, he requested some free product.
Co-owner Hatem Jahshan said no.
“That was good, very good,” said Chilton as he and Jim Treliving helped the Jahshans cut a ceremonial red ribbon this morning to mark the opening of Steeped Tea’s new 20,000-square-foot facility in the Ancaster Business Park.
Treliving and Chilton, best known as two of the most discerning Dragons in CBC’s Dragon’s Den, signed on as partners in the business after the Jahshans made their pitch in early 2012.
Steeped Tea, a direct sales business, began after the Jahshans visited Nova Scotia six years ago and sampled a cup of loose-leaf Earl Grey. Tonia Jahshan, the mother of three young children, began selling the tea in the couple’s home, then moved on to hosting Avon-style parties. Along with more than 150 different types of tea, Tonia has developed recipes, rubs and other tea-based products.
With the help of the Dragons’ investment — 20 per cent of the company in exchange for a $250,000 investment — Steeped Tea has now expanded into the United States.
Hatem said the company now has more than 3,000 consultants in Canada, and since expanding into the U.S. market three months ago, has added another 200. Steeped Tea employs 41 people at its new Bittern Street location.
“We are honoured that the Dragons have joined us.” said Tonia. “Dave and Jim have become like family to us. There hasn’t been a hill or a mountain that we haven’t been able to climb together.”
The Dragons were equally as effusive in their praise of the Jahshans, their commitment to their business, family and the community of Hamilton.
“This is what entrepreneurship is all about,” said Chilton. “There are so many spinoff benefits for society. I am proud and lucky to be part of it.”
Added Treliving: “In my eight years on the Dragon’s Den, this is the best deal I’ve ever done, and these are the type of people we want to be in business with.”
For more information on Steeped Tea, visit www.steepedtea.com.