Americans drink 1.42 million pounds of tea every single day, making tea one of the most popular drinks in the country. The father-son duo, Jeff and Taylor Hunt, saw the potential in a tea-based business and founded Tea2Go. Jeff and Taylor created their franchise tea shop in 2013, offering both made-to-order drinks and loose-leaf take home teas. Their vision was to create delicious tea blends that offered unique health benefits without sacrificing taste.
Tea2Go opened a plethora of shops, but one by one, they were all beginning to fail. The Hunts were struggling to stay afloat. With over a million dollars in debt, Tea2Go was on the verge of going out of business.
The Hunts needed Marcus’s help if they were to keep their family business open.
Tea2Go on The Profit
The Profit Season 4 Episode 8
Marcus believed the tea industry was worth growing, but Tea2Go left a lot to be desired. The stores offered no food, no accessories, no drink alternatives, and no real point-of-purchase system. Marcus knew that Tea2Go would need a complete overhaul if they wanted to stay in business.
Marcus learned that the father-son relationship had a storied past with a history of poor decision making. They had only just formed an alliance when Taylor was legally an adult. Jeff asked Taylor to put the family business first, above his studies. Like many children would do when trying to build a relationship with their estranged parent, Taylor dropped out of college along with his father’s wishes. Taylor believed that his father was trying to fix their late-starting relationship by throwing money into the business, but it was clear to Marcus that they were much more business partners than father-and-son.
Visiting owners of a few of the franchises, Marcus saw that the there was a huge disparity between the passion of the franchise owners and the franchise founders. The owners of the franchises were avid tea drinkers and therefore paid more attention to the details. Jeff himself wasn’t even a tea drinker. He didn’t have any enthusiasm for the drink he was selling.
Marcus sat Jeff and Taylor down for a more in-depth financial discussion. Their product had a 90% profit margin; however, Tea2Go’s net worth was -$700,000. To get out of that hole, Marcus wanted to rebrand with a different name and a more robust concept. His offer was $300,000 for 75% of the business. After some negotiation, they agreed on $350,000 for 70%. Marcus made an additional deal with the tea shop’s supplier, Manish, and offered a percentage of equity in exchange for debt forgiveness. They agreed.
Marcus stumbled upon a new idea: bringing spices into the business. He brought this concept up to the franchises in a new meeting, selling under the new name: American Tea and Spice Shop. A round of applause confirmed that his idea was well-received, even though Jeff was apprehensive.
With the new idea in tow, Marcus remodeled one of the franchises under his new concept. They would now offer accessories and food in the tea and spice shop. However, Jeff still wasn’t sold on the idea and was still selling franchises under the old concept and old paperwork. Technically, he could have been held liable for fraud charges, putting both he and Marcus at risk.
Tensions grew. Jeff stopped working and told other employees to leave if they also didn’t like the new concept. He decided he wanted to continue running Tea2Go as it was before they appeared on the show. This meant Marcus and Jeff would be running competing businesses. Understandably, Marcus decided to dissolve their deal and run American Tea and Spice on his own. The franchises could decide on their own which concept they would like to run under.
All employees of American Tea and Spice were happy with their new, bright look and shelves stocked full of affordable tea blends and spices. During the grand opening, Marcus made two big announcements. First, he wanted to turn American Tea and Spice into a successful franchise. And second? The company would pay for Taylor to go back and finish his college degree.
Tea2Go after The Profit
After the episode aired, Jeff took to social media to complain about The Profit and those involved in making the show. He claimed the show was full of theatrics, and everything Marcus said and did was for entertainment purposes. (Tellingly, this is far from the first time someone has made these complaints – and worse– about the show.)
In January 2017, Taylor went back to school. He posted on his personal social media pages thanking Marcus for his help in finishing his education.
As of June 2020, it appears that Tea2Go is still struggling. While there are plenty of regional Tea2Go tea stands and franchises that pop up on a Google search, just as many of the stores Jeff initially opened have closed down. It’s said that sometimes the customers haven’t even been alerted. Loyal customers show up to a closed shop.
Out of all of the Tea2Go franchises, only one became American Tea and Spice. American Tea and Spice has since rebranded and became American Tea and Coffee. They currently do not have any franchised locations.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Tea2Go, The Profit, or any of their subsidiaries.