Jessie Dean, owner of Asheville Tea Company, is a West Asheville mom and lifetime outdoor enthusiast who is “on a mission to turn Asheville into a town of craft tea drinkers.” People love their craft beverages in Asheville, but before Jessie started her venture it was really hard to find a local craft tea. Asheville Tea Co. uses fresh ingredients from local farms, tossing in green or black tea with certain blends, to create unique and flavorful concoctions.
“The thing that is unique about Asheville Tea Co. is that we are focused on local sourcing,” she says. Jessie is optimistic that in the near future, every element of her formulations — even the green and black teas, which are not native to the United States — will be sourced locally. “I have been working with Table Rock Tea Co. in South Carolina, and they are growing Camellia sinensis,” she says. “So, within the next few years, I am hopeful that we will be able to have local green and black tea even.”
For her foray into small business, Jessie Dean draws on deep entrepreneurial roots. “I was inspired definitely by my family. My mom and her sisters run a candy store, and it’s a third generation family business. My dad runs his own craft business,” she says.
As for tea, Jessie credits her British-born husband with her passion for brewing the perfect cup of tea. “Tea culture is a big part of life in England,” she explains. But it was the thriving craft beverage scene and a great farm-to-table scene in Asheville that convinced Jessie that there was a market for her local, small-batch teas. “Local teas are much more fresh and flavorful than teas sold at the store. So, we are really working hard to support local farms and local business.”