Gen Z entrepreneurs Cody Wallace, 20, and Noah Cannon, 21, only recently graduated from high school, but the pair have two successful tea shop locations and more on the way.
“Our first location did so well, we decided to expand,” says Wallace, the founder and co-owner of Taste of Tea. “We’re similar to Teavana, and a lot of people were very upset with those stores closing, so we filled that gap.”
Taste of Tea’s first location in Clinton Township’s The Mall at Partridge Creek opened in April, and the second, at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, opened in November.
“Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you can’t start your own business,” Wallace says. “Most people are older with more experience, but experience isn’t everything.”
A taste for tea
Opening the tea shop was more than just a savvy investment. Wallace says drinking tea every day with his family growing up meant a lot to him and helped strengthen the bond between his family members.
“I’ve always had a passion for tea,” Wallace says. “I grew up drinking a lot of tea, since my mom is Polish and she drank it. There’s more to tea than just Lipton tea bags – it’s a whole culture.”
The shop sells more than 60 tea blends, hot tea to-go and tea accessories, like infusers.
“Some people drink coffee, some people drink tea, and everyone has their own preference in varieties,” he says. “It’s a whole experience, almost like wine – not that I would know much about that yet.”
4 must-sip blends
Here are for tea options that Wallace says you’ve got to sample. The minimum purchase for all tea options is 1 ounce.
1. Golden Monkey: This premium black tea has “a nutty, sweet smell with a rich, smooth flavor,” Wallace says. $7.99/oz.
2. Jasmine Dragon Pearls: “Each pearl combines two delicate green tea leaves and an unopened bud,” Wallace says. $8.99/oz.
3. White Strawberry: A white tea featuring a “sweet profile yet light and floral with hints of vanilla.” $5.99/oz.
4. Blood Orange: Taste of Tea’s top seller. It has a “rich orange flavor, yet tangy, and is amazing as iced tea.” $5.99/oz.
Visit Taste of Tea
Taste of Tea has locations at The Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township and Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi. Watch for more locations coming by mid-2020.