Teavana to buy Teaopia

48 Replies
AJ said

To be honest (agreeing with aisling of tea, and somewhat with lizeepea, although I haven’t been there enough to fully gauge customer service), I found Teaopia to be a pretty good mirror of everything I’ve ever heard about Teavana (which I haven’t visited since I live in Canada, if near the border). Although I wasn’t swarmed with the “buy up, buy big” customer service approach, they had that sort of snooty “we’re the only tea specific shop we know about, therefore we are the best” attitude. I kind of wonder what they thought when Tea Desires started opening up in adjacent malls.

Was mostly annoyed that they were the only place I’d ever seen selling Turkish teacups, except that they had absolutely no idea what they were and sold the cup separate from the saucer (and each cup individual instead of maybe offering a discount for buying a set, or /something/; I don’t know, I know it’s a common practice to sell a single cup, but…), and both were quite pricey. Was still considering the purchase, though.

But the few teas of theirs I’ve tried, I’ve liked. A bit like sweet candy guilty pleasure teas. And I do really like to support Canadian companies, so it makes me a bit sad anyways (ALTHOUGH, actually, for the longest time I thought they /were/ part of Teavana already—the name, the similarities, I figured they were just Canadian branch of the company).

I will have to work through their teas and stock up on anything I like. I don’t want to leave it to chance and have Teavana turn the company completely around and inside out.

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Plunkybug said

Sigh…..I prefer DAVIDs to Teaopia, but I do like Teaopia. My girls there are all nice to me and know what I like. I haven’t been to a Teavana in ages, but I too thought that Teaopia was a Canadian offshoot of Teavana. That said, I hope the transition goes well and that they have good things, and they don’t fuck up my store.

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Chellybean said

They better not close the store that is near my house at home (my actual home, not my home while I am away at school) because it is the only tea place for an hour! Other than that, they only had a few teas that I really enjoy, so I’ll be sure to stock up on those and then am kind of excited to try Teavana ones!

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To anyone claiming Teaopia is better quality than other places, I just want to point out a quote from lizeepea:

“we once found a cigarette butt in the tin of tea, and I was told that it would be a waste to dump out the tea and that we had to sell it.”

Just in case you missed it. Never setting foot in their store again.

I know, that is one of the most disgusting things I’ve heard in a long time.

Agh! That’s horrifying. I guess that’s why it’s tough but important to scout out retailers that you can trust have enough integrity to look out for the customer’s interests first, which is unfortunately rare.

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kimmyblue said

I recently heard about the upcoming change. Gotta admit I had palpitations. Since they opened in the Oshawa Centre, I have enjoyed working my way through the wall and began mixing. The staff is amazing. Helpful, knowledgeable and not pushy in an overbearing way like most retailers who have quotas and commissions to deal with. There are about 7 flavours I don’t think I can live without, so almost every day I ask my crew if they know which ones are being dropped so I can seriously stock up. I can’t stop the takeover, but won’t be happy if my favorites go. I am glad they intend to keep the existing staff at least because in Oshawa they are fantastic people. They’d be nuts to let them go.

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TheKesser said

After reading this thread ‘cause I was interested to see what other people thought of the whole takeover by Teavana, I have to say, I think I’m going to be glad in some ways to see Teaopia go. I never thought I’d say that about a Canadian company that I use to love, but the fact that Lizeepea says that they found a cigarette butt in the tin and still continued to sell tea out of that, that’s repulsing. I can’t believe a company that says there are so focused on health would allow that. I have some Teaopia teas at home, but I think I’m going to have a hard time finishing them now that I know that. I realize that might have been a one time thing, but if they let it slide once, how many other times have they let things slide and we as the customer have had to pay the price?
Thanks for being honest lizeepea about that. Now that I know, I won’t be getting tea from them again. I like the accessories (the tea master and I just bought a cast iron teapot) which can be very easily washed from anything like that, but I don’t be looking at their teas.
And too, I might as well say too though, I was starting to lose all interest in Teaopia teas anyway. I found Davidstea and the quality difference is like night and day to me. It tastes fresher and just nicer in general. And the varieties are a lot more fun and there’s a lot more variety.
Anyway… that’s my thoughts…

I hope you don’t think Teavana is an improvement over Teaopia, as I’ve heard worse things about the former, including selling tea out of a tin where the leaves were outright ROTTING.

TheKesser said

Actually I didn’t know that either! That’s not good!

Flava said

as a former employee of Teaopia who worked with lizeepea I would like to just make clear that the opinion is bias and non-truthful. There was infact a cigarette butt found in some of the tea (the leaf is all handpicked, so on occasion things are found) and IT WAS NOT SOLD.
Her questioning of management is strictly based on the fact that it was not her choice to leave the company.
The company IS NOT sales based
sales are kept track of strictly to make sure people are not ignoring people and are infact working while on the clock.
there is NO commission.

it is incredibly sad to see Teaopia go and only hope that Teavana’s quality will match the values Teaopia held so strong.
Teaopia is a family and we all really love what we do, i’d hate for one disgruntled employee to ruin the name of a good Canadian company.

Flava: Thank you for sharing your judgements and feelings with us.

What I find interesting about your choice to step out here and make your claim about a member of our community (one that I personally consider respectable) is that I don’t know who you are (there is no information at all in your bio). So, and I can only speak for myself, your claim means nothing to me without some kind of evidence to back up what you have posted. For all I know 1) you have some kind of ‘charge’ or grudge with lizeepea, and you simply mean to discredit her, or 2) you may be one of the owners/managers (since you use the word, "we in your last sentence above) of Teaopia who has the best of intentions, and everything you state here is true, or 3) the truth is somewhere in-between. The reality is, I HAVE NO IDEA.

Bottom line: I invite you to tell us a little more about yourself before stepping out here and making accusations about one of us, and I invite you to give facts (ones that can be substantiated), and not just hearsay (you may know the phrase that goes something like, he said, she said?).

Flava said

I happend to have stumbled across this and am not usually affected by people sharing their opinions, but I’m not going to see a good company be slandered.
I have no personal grudge with Lizeepea and have not felt the need to personally attack her character and would rather not turn this into something larger than it needs to be.

I simply felt the need to show there are different sides to all stories and I thought that possibly some would be interested in the fact that there is a personal grudge held against Teaopia by lizeepea.

I use the term “we” because I do very much feel like part of the Teaopia family even though I no longer work for them and I’m confident many employees would feel the same.

I feel perfectly comfortable in staying anonymous in that the facts given with lizzeepea are non-existant as well, and it is infact heresay to begin with, simply another side of the story represented.

Teaopia functionally doesn’t exist anymore so defending them serves no purpose for the company’s future, since there isn’t any. I can only say I am not management just an ex employee defending my friends and their ways of conducting business.

I hear you, Flava.

You know, it’s actually funny that I was reading some of the older posts above and thinking somewhat along the lines that it sounds you are (before I got down to reading your most recent post). I judge most (if not all) that was posted in this thread about Teaopia was hearsay. When it comes down to it, companies are made up of people, and people sometimes do things that can be judged as being wrong, inappropriate, etc.; and the way I see it (and my guess is others do to, I really don’t know) those people—along with their actions—comprise only a small part of the whole.

Assuming these stories are true (and I am not saying they are, I personally would need substantial proof before I took them as fact), it does not necessarily mean they are a reflection of the company as a whole. Stories like these may raise a few eyebrows, but I don’t think most folks will attach too much value to them unless there’s a pattern (i.e. many stories like these begin to surface). So the real question here is (although in a way it’s moot, as you implied, as they are no longer in existence) were the things stated in the above posts a reflection of the company as a whole? Unfortunately, questions like that can be very difficult to answer.

What does matter though, is the manner in which these kinds of accusations are handled. So, as you seem to have appointed yourself as a defender of said company by taking the initiative and posting what I judge to be ‘weighty claims’ about a member of this community (and, now that I think about it, I have appointed myself as defender of those being accused on Steepster—although I have no more real authority than anyone else out here, Jason and Ricky being excepted), I have a few questions for you (answering these questions is completely up to you; I’ll admit, I went a little deep with this, so consider yourself forewarned!)

1) You state, “I … and am not affected by people sharing their opinions, but I’m not going to see a good company be slandered.” Amongst other things, ‘Slander’ is a judgement, and a strong one at that. So, why does this bother you so much? Possibly, you have slandered others in the past, and you are projecting your judgement of yourself onto her? Here’s a little info on projection, in case you aren’t aware of the term, or what it is: http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/coping/projection.htm

2) “I simply felt the need to show there are different sides to all stories …” So where does this need to show come from? And do you think posting this this is the best way to show there are different sides to all stories, without telling us who you are? Do you think we did not know that there were two sides to this ‘story’? Do you believe these actions of yours will stop “a good company from being slandered?”

3) “… and I thought that possibly some would be interested in the fact that there is a personal grudge held against Teaopia by lizeepea.” Really? It’s a fact? Interesting. Are you willing (or able) to prove it?

4) And while I believe I understand your choice to stay anonymous, do you think you have any credibility at all with this community without your choosing to tell us who you are (and back up your claims)?

Flava said

Id honestly rather have a cup of tea than continue with this banter.

Lizzeepea said her piece, ive said mine. everything else is up to an individuals deductive reasoning, you’ve made a fair point in that my credibility is questionable.
My bad for wanting to right a wrong without turning it into a drawn out debate, Im not a recognized member of this community, but I know Teaopia.

I have no right to go into the details of Lizzepea’s grudge with Teaopia, that is between her and the manager of her location and have been trying to be respectful in not discussing such matters, and I will not compromise my resolve just to satisfy you.

“Id honestly rather have a cup of tea than continue with this banter.” Good attitude!

I do appreciate your honesty in your reply.

I never asked you to “compromise (your) resolve”. And, heck, all things said and done, I’m satisfied. : – )

Flava, I don’t think anyone thought it was based on commission…? If so, they aren’t paying attention.

But lizeepea is hardly the only one to say that the focus on sales at Teaopia is too high. A good friend of mine who works at Teaopia told me that. He is a great guy, well-liked by all, with an OUTSTANDING reputation at every place he has worked. I worked with him at another company for a number of months, and I have a high regard for him, his work ethic and honesty, and his opinions (which are generally formed in a fairly clear mind, in my view).

He still works at Teaopia. He still seems to like it a lot.

Nevertheless, he has told me that Teaopia is very, distressingly sales-focused, and that it is the one thing that has made him disheartened to work for the company.

I trust him on that point.

As for the rest, I frankly do not care all that much. I have gotten pretty good service at Teaopia, and the employees treat me like family when I come in. I myself would immediately throw out anything that had a cig butt end up in it, but I also know how tea “works,” and I’m boiling the damn water anyway! It’s a disgusting-sounding story, and if it’s not true – great, but (and maybe people will think I’m an icky person for this) I just don’t care that much if it IS true. It wouldn’t say good things about Teaopia’s standards if it’s true, but I’m sure I get contaminated by smokers more walking to work.

I’m personally WAY more concerned about the Teavana rotten leaves story.

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I prefer DAVIDsTEA over Teaopia, but there are a few varieties of tea from Teaopia I couldn’t give up and I don’t find Teavana has anywhere near the selection of teas that Teaopia has.

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Chellybean said

I was in Teaopia yesterday and asked the guy what was happening with the whole takeover thing. The (very cute) guy behind the counter told me that the changeover would be complete by the end of August, and that the store would be completely converted to a Teavana. I don’t know if this is true for all Teaopia locations, but my local one is going to be a Teavana. I have mixed overall feelings about this, but there is certainly one silver lining. Teaopia will be selling off all of their inventories of accessories and teas, so there should be some excellent sales this summer! I bought their big Teamaster for half off, and they had many other accessories for half off.

TheKesser said

I’m enjoying the discounted accessories too. I’ve been wanting a cast iron teapot for a while now, and they went on half price, so I got one. (My mother-in-law picked it up for me so the next time I see her, I’ll get it.) I can’t wait to use it.

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Our Teaopia is also switching over to Teavana. Probably by the end of August. Looks like I will be in store with a major purchase!

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Saryn said

Oh yeah. Definitely some good deals in Teaopia right now. A handful of teas and some accessories are 75% off. I got a nice selection of new teas to try.

I keep meaning to check out David’s Tea or Tea Desire, but they’re up around Guildford. Central City’s Teaopia is just closer. Not sure I’ll be going there as much when they convert to Teavana, though. Unless it’s to top up my supply of Mudslide Rooibos.

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