Every day, Americans consume 1.42 million pounds of tea, making it one of the most popular beverages in the nation. Jeff and Taylor Hunt, a father-son team, recognized the potential in a tea-based company and created Tea2Go. In 2013, Jeff and Taylor opened their franchise tea business, which serves made-to-order beverages as well as loose-leaf teas to take home. Their goal was to develop delectable tea blends with distinct health advantages that didn’t sacrifice flavor.
Tea2Go launched a slew of locations, but they were all falling one by one. The Hunts were having trouble staying afloat. Was on the brink of going out of business due to a debt of over a million dollars.
If the Hunts were to keep their family company running, they needed Marcus’ assistance.
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On The Profit, Tea2Go
Episode 8 of Season 4 of The Profit
Marcus felt that the tea business deserved to expand, but Tea2Go fell short. There was no food, no accessories, no drink options, and no actual point-of-purchase system in the shops. Marcus realized that if Tea2Go was to remain in business, it would need a thorough makeover.
Marcus discovered that the father-son connection had a tumultuous background, including a history of bad decisions. When Taylor was legally an adult, they had just recently established an alliance. Jeff advised Taylor to choose the family company above his academics. Taylor followed his father’s wishes and dropped out of college, as many children do when attempting to rebuild a connection with an alienated parent. Taylor thought his father was attempting to repair their shaky connection by putting money into the company, but Marcus could see that they were more business partners than father-and-son.
Marcus saw a significant difference between the enthusiasm of the franchise owners and the passion of the franchise founders when he visited the owners of a few of the businesses. The franchise owners were tea connoisseurs who paid close attention to the finer points. Jeff was not a tea drinker in the first place. He was uninterested in the beverage he was offering.
Marcus sat down with Jeff and Taylor to have a more in-depth conversation about money. Tea2Go’s product had a 90% profit margin, yet their net value was -$700,000. Marcus wanted to rebrand with a new name and a more solid idea to climb out of that hole. His offer was $300,000 for a 75% stake in the company. They settled on a price of $350,000 for 70% after some haggling. Marcus also struck a deal with Manish, the tea shop’s supplier, in which he agreed to give up a portion of his ownership in return for debt forgiveness. They were in agreement.
Marcus came up with a novel idea: incorporating spices into the company. In a fresh meeting, he presented this idea to the franchisees, selling under the new name of American Tea and Spice Shop. Even though Jeff was nervous, a wave of applause indicated that his proposal was well-received
Marcus renovated one of the businesses under his new concept with the new notion in tow. In the tea and spice store, they would now sell accessories and food. Jeff, on the other hand, was still skeptical of the notion and continued to sell franchises using the old approach and documentation. In theory, he might have been charged with fraud, placing both himself and Marcus in jeopardy.
Tensions began to rise. Jeff took a break from work and informed his coworkers that if they didn’t like the new idea, they should quit as well. He made the decision to keep Tea2Go operating as it was before they were on the program. As a result, Marcus and Jeff would be operating companies that were in direct competition. Marcus, understandably, chose to end their partnership and operate American Tea and Spice on his own. Franchisees may choose whatever idea they want to operate under on their own.
The fresh, colorful appearance of American Tea and Spice, as well as the shelves filled with cheap tea blends and spices, made everyone pleased. Marcus made two major announcements during the grand opening. First and foremost, he wanted to transform American Tea and Spice into a profitable business. Second, the business would pay for Taylor to complete his college education.
After The Profit, Tea2Go
After the program aired, Jeff went to social media to express his dissatisfaction with The Profit and others involved in its production. He stated that the performance was full of theatrics and that Marcus said and did everything for the sake of entertainment. (It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time someone has voiced similar – and worse – criticisms of the program.)
Taylor returned to school in January 2017. He thanked Marcus for his assistance in completing his studies on his own social media sites.
Tea2Go seems to be still suffering as of September 2021. While a Google search may turn up a slew of regional Tea2Go tea shops and franchisees, many of the businesses Jeff originally established have shuttered. It’s been reported that consumers aren’t always notified. Customers who have been loyal to the store come up to find it shuttered.
Only one of the Tea2Go businesses, American Tea and Spice, survived. Since then, American Tea and Spice has changed its name to American Tea and Coffee. There are currently no franchised sites available.
Royal Pitch is not connected with Tea2Go, The Profit, or any of its companies, and the information given in this article is only for educational purposes.
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