Tea is Always the Answer
By: Emma Comery Photo by: Rachel Benavides
A college student out of bed before noon on a Saturday morning is a rare sight. But Hailey Chapman, a web design student at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, braves the early weekend hours to load up her car (and her mother’s car) and drive over to the Southside Farmer’s Market. There she sets up a booth for her blossoming business, Teacup Goods, which specializes in all things tea – from traditional and original blends to handmade tea-based products.
Still in her first year of business, Chapman works out of her parents’ kitchen, and thus is subject to Texas Cottage Food Law, which limits the food products she can make and sell to the public. So while images of a charming tea shop and industrial kitchen sit firmly in her vision of the future, in the meantime, this young entrepreneur is building her business by maximizing the number of tea-based products she can produce out of her home. Jellies, candles, soaps, bath bombs, lip balm, bath salts, and oils – Teacup Goods is a one-stop-shop for self-care. Better yet, Texas Cottage Food Law allows her to sell one of her favorite tea products: Earl Grey Tea Shortbread, a recipe she’s been perfecting since she was 12 years old.
Spurred by the realization that Teacup Goods was a business on the verge of booming, Chapman took the leap of quitting her part-time job at the university police department to focus on her business. “I was at the point where I could afford to make that change, and I needed to.” Besides, she adds, “My tea business is the love of my life” – and that love is tangible in her voice, in her eyes, in the tiny portions of Passionfruit Tango tea she carefully pours into a pouch.
And while she admits that she enjoys “tea for tea’s sake” and considers the health benefits “an added perk,” Chapman is happy to suggest to her customers different teas known for their health benefits -- always with the caveat that she is a web design major (the Teacup Goods website is rather delightful), not a doctor.
“Hibiscus can help regulate your blood pressure,” she shares, “and Chamomile has been used throughout history – all the way back to ancient Egypt – as an anxiety treatment.” For folks looking to transition from coffee to tea, Chapman recommends caffeine-laden black tea, specifically English Breakfast, which she promises is “the taste of happiness.” For tummy trouble, nothing beats the probiotic jackpot of ginger tea, and a little green tea can go a long way towards improving metabolism.
Health effects aside, tea holds a simple, remarkable power. For example, a cup of Peach Bellini tea can turn a normal Sunday morning into a sun-dappled meditation. Netflix Friday nights are enhanced by lavender tea bath bombs, tea-infused candles, and a plate of shortbread cookies. Chapman has built her business and her life on the belief that “tea is always the answer.” She may very well be right. Tea, after all, reminds us to infuse our hectic lives with small moments of tranquility, one cup at a time.
361.271.4333 | @teacupgoods