Organic tea brand Teatonics won a prize worth £100,000 in the Dragon’s Den-style Seed Fund contest.
The Dorset-based business has been awarded £100,000 of brand and business support from Piper Equity, FD Works, Venona Retail and food brand consultants The Collaborators, who set up the Seed Fund initiative three years ago to mentor and support South West businesses.
Finalists in this year’s contest earlier this month made pitches to a panel of judges including Riverford founder Guy Watson, BBC Radio 4 Food Programme’s Dan Saladino and Rude Health founder Camillla Barnard. Also in the running were “posh” sausage rolls, aromatic Gujurati curry and ‘super-clean’ coconut ice-cream.
Winner Teatonics was established by Rosie Marteau and Charles Grummi, who were inspired by the herbal blends of the Yerba mate culture while travelling in South America. The business has set out to provide organic botanical infusions of novel tea-like herbs from other cultures, blended to ‘energise, relax, rejuvenate and nourish’.
“It’s hard to overstate how valuable this prize is to us,” said Marteau. “The support will be totally transformative, and we’re looking forward to doing justice to everyone’s generosity and belief in us.”
The Seed Fund’s 2013 winner was ethical, bird-friendly coffee brand Bird & Wild, which is now distributed in Abel & Cole, Whole Foods, Planet Organic and Selfridges. The 2014 winner, free-from cake brand Let Them Eat, is to unveil a new brand identity in September and has been awarded a development contract with First Great Western railways.