What a week! First winning the Young Entrepreneur of the Year and then a visit to Parliament to showcase the amazing food/drink producers Bath has (including us!) and we got to meet so many amazing people and chat to lots of MPs (such as Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Secretary of State for DEFRA - Andrea Leadsom and Richard Graham MP) and their staff, hand out samples and tell our story! We were in the Jubilee room in Parliament and we got to skip the queue (and had a day off school! Shh) and then we had around 5 hours of chatting and showing off all of our flavours and new PYRAMID teabags, also a great time to meet some of the other producers in Bath, such as Megs Cottage Fudge and Three Bags Full.
It was such a fun day and an amazing experience and a huge thank you to Helen from Taste of Bath and Ben Howlett for arranging the whole thing!
"Everybody loves tea," according to Bath teenager, business owner and tea aficionado April Collins.
The 16-year-old from Hinton Charterhouse founded the Leafy Tea Company in January this year.
She sells her products at farmers markets in the Bath area, local delis and online to a growing list of loyal customers.
Monkton School pupil, April, decided to start the business because of her total disappointment in the quality of teas that are available in supermarkets.
She said: "Tea is a very British thing. Lots of British people have this love of tea.
"But I find the quality of teas that you get in supermarkets really disappointing.
"I wanted to see if I could do better."
The Leafy Tea Company sells five core flavours, with the mantra of producing great deli products at reasonable prices.
Three local delis - Widcombe Deli, Galleries in Freshford and Mes Amis in Beckington - are selling the teenager's product and they are also offering it to customers in their cafes.
April has had a very busy summer, making many early starts to travel to farmers' markets all over Somerset, Wiltshire and the Green Park market in Bath.
She will show her products at a young entrepreneur event in Wiltshire in October and is also attending a food festival in Wells plus various shows and farmer's markets throughout the autumn.
On top of that, the teenager has just opened an online shop on her website after requests.
"I wanted to produce a tea that has a really good quality and has all of the health benefits that actually work," said April.
During her GCSE's, she drank her own Chamomile and Lavender brew, which really helped to "relax" her before she went to bed.
April balances the business around a busy school schedule at Monkton.
She said: "It takes a bit of fine tuning to balance everything.
"I use study periods in school to do my work, which leaves the evenings free for me to work on the business.
"I do all of the packaging and design all of the labels myself.
"And then on weekends we go to local farmers' markets."
Not many 16-year-olds have the passion and dedication to set up and run a business while studying for school exams.
"Most people are just really surprised at how young I am," April commented. "They ask how I have got my life sorted out at such a young age.
"Local businesses seem to like it and try to support me in any way they can.
"I don't think there's too young an age to start a business.
"You just need a good idea and have to commit to work hard on it."
April is currently studying for A-Levels in geography, French, Spanish and business studies.
She does not want to go to university but instead might look at how she can take her business forward.
One of April's ideas is to join the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, set up by Dragon's Den star Peter Jones.
The academy offers a unique outlook on business education and could help April to take The Leafy Tea Company to the next level.
Milstead Langdon Award
'No sooner does local chartered accountancy firm Milsted Langdon return from sponsoring one school award than it goes out to sponsor another.
Bath office Director, Peter Groves, recently presented Monkton Combe School student April Collins with the Milsted Langdon Award for Enterprise in recognition of her newly-founded Leafy Tea Company’s success.
Peter made the presentation at the school’s Speech Day, shortly after judging a business innovation competition at Millfield School in Street.
April took home the Milsted Langdon trophy and a £100 Waterstones voucher in recognition of the rapid development of her four-month-old business, which buys, packages and sells ethically-sourced tea to a range of outlets.
April is already busy expanding the company’s operations, having secured a forthcoming magazine interview, a tasting session with a group of 25 tea-lovers and a Bath Cats and Dogs Home Fair stall.
Robert Campbell, Head of Business Studies and Economics at Monkton Combe, said: “April set up her company after attending the school Enterprise Course and her creative flair deserves to be recognised by business and finance leaders.
“The Milsted Langdon Award is always hotly contested and April – our youngest winner– scored very highly in all judging categories. We hope her achievements will encourage her peers as she is an excellent role model.”
Peter Groves said: “Milsted Langdon always enjoys rewarding the efforts of the talented young people whom the firm’s ongoing education engagement programme supports.
“It was a great pleasure to present April with the Milsted Langdon Award for Enterprise. The trophy should really have been a cup in this case.
“She has shown great resourcefulness, confidence, determination and business acumen in establishing and promoting The Leafy Tea Company.
“These are key attributes we aim to instill in our clients to help them grow their businesses, and we also seek them in our employees.
“I wish April and Monkton Combe school the very best for the future.”
Milsted Langdon has offices in Bath, Bristol, Taunton, Yeovil and London. For more information visit:'
The Bath Chronicle
A GCSE student who started a tea business in January has won an award for her fledgling company.
Monkton Combe School pupil April Collins founded the Leafy Tea Company a little more than six months ago, packaging tea imported from India and the Far East for sale in farmers' markets, fetes and the shop in her home village of Hinton Charterhouse.
The 16-year-old has already won recognition thanks to chartered accountancy firm Milsted Langdon, which presented her with its Award for Enterprise.
April told the Bath Chronicle: "It was a bit of a shock to win and a really good surprise as I wasn't expecting it given there are other people at my school who have businesses.
"Tea's a very British thing and as I wanted to start a business I thought it was something quite simple you can do a lot with.
"I'm at school six days a week so don't have time for a job so this was something where I could control the hours instead of trying to tie myself down.
"That said it does take up a lot of time – with hindsight it probably wasn't the greatest idea to start it while finishing my GCSEs!"
April has now completed her exams and is hoping to get her ethically-sourced tea, which comes in five flavours and which she packages herself at home, into delis and high end shops.
Milsted Langdon Bath office director Peter Groves presented the teenager with a trophy and a £100 Waterstones voucher.
He said: "April has shown great resourcefulness, confidence, determination and business acumen in establishing and promoting The Leafy Tea Company.
"These are key attributes we aim to instil in our clients to help them grow their businesses and we also seek them in our employees."