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Tarkington Tea: Interview with owner Elizabeth Murphy

Tarkington Tea

What do you sell and what’s your most popular product?

Every Saturday, I gain more people to join me in my daily habit of drinking tea. Many can be intimidated by the idea of making tea every morning but in reality, it is just as consuming as coffee. At my booth, I sell loose leaf tea and herbs and infusers.  Typically, in the summer my most popular product is my fruit teas.  

How did you become interested in selling tea?

The first cup of tea I ever had come from my Aunt, and ever since I was drawn in by cute teapots and the formality that comes with tea. About 5 years ago I started drinking loose leaf and I love that it is biodegradable and allows me to cut down on waste. My husband, who is more entrepreneurial, helped push me to start a business. The summer before last we went to the World Tea Expo, where I took classes and learned a lot.  Before long I was creating my own blends and started to have a booth at the Farmers’ Market.

What’s an interesting fact about what you sell or your business?

I am mostly a one woman show! When I am not teaching at HSE, I am trying to work on my business. Every Saturday, I show up, set up, and run my own booth.  Currently, I am working towards building my own website for Tarkington Tea as well as doing all the photography on the site. It’s been hard to create a lot of time to work on my business, but it helps that most of my tea is imported from around the Himalayans and all my herbs are grown state side.

 What’s your favorite part about the Farmers’ Market?

I absolutely love the community feel that Fishers carries!  Each week I meet new and friendly people as well I love the community aspect of it all.  Every person I meet is so welcoming, helpful, and supportive. Although I never get to try anyone else’s products, I have had the opportunity to meet a couple of the vendors.  

What have you learned/improved upon in your business?

Starting the business was not too hard, but it is challenging to keep it going.  It takes a lot of energy and networking. The key is having people carry your products. I am not the best at promoting or networking myself, but it is one of the most important skills needed. Since I started I have made friends who are willing to carry my tea, hand out cards, and always help me find a new way to market.

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