I hope you all had a lovely Christmas break (likely a distant memory now). It was great to see that so many of you chose to give tea to friends & family so I hope it went down well and that the year is off to a cracking start. Unfortunately ours began on a tow-truck, but after various mechanics poked around a bit in the engine, Watson is again fighting fit and ready to get going with 2014. We have lots of exciting plans for the year which we will tell you all about in due course.
For now I wanted to share with you the launch of our new 'Tea-Time Mondays' that kick off next week. You may remember that last year we offered to bring G&P to your offices to celebrate National Hot Tea Month? Well, despite still making me laugh that such a thing exists, it's that time again so naturally we want to join in..
So if any of you would like to have either the van or the Brew Bar come to your office to brighten up a wintery Monday then get in touch for details at firstname.lastname@example.org And do pass on to any others who might also be interested..
Exciting news - G&P has been nominated for Best Startup in Tech City News Elevator Pitch Awards! Voting ends tonight so this is a slightly last minute request for you, my backers, to vote for G&P! One of the awards is People's Choice so we need your help to ramp up support and be in with the chance of winning...and the competition is tough so every vote will help. The results will be announced at the Awards Evening on Monday 25th November, which as it happens is also the date that marks 1 year since you all got me to my target!
Yet again it has been too long since I last wrote – summer has come and gone in what feels like a flash so before it becomes too much of a distant memory I wanted to let you know what we have been up to.
First and foremost
Your names were at last put on the van! You are now forever a part of the G&P story and will travel with Watson wherever he goes.
Sweltering weather in the city meaning Cold Brew soon became our bread & butter and I had to check I’d heard right when someone asked for a hot tea. Each day we had a different tea on the menu and I even had to get tips from a cocktail barman as the brew was served shaken on ice, extra cold. We also piloted our Cold Brew-skis – pure, cold-brewed tea in a bottle. It was brewed overnight every, bottled & labelled at my kitchen table the next morning and then served cold at lunch! The lucky customers at Kings Cross & Brockley who tried this limited edition seemed to love them so we will be working on these further in the hope of launching them proper next summer.
School Sports Day
The only Kickstarter reward still outstanding was to our highest pledging backer, who, if funding was successful, had agreed to book us out for a school sports day. On the 15th June, Watson & I were therefore delighted to chug our way down to Cheam for our first day out of London since launch and had a lovely day serving tea & cake to the cold mums & dads on the sidelines, cheering on the various teams.
Festivals (& our first celebrity customer!)
Although Watson’s heart remains in London, with all our fellow food traders travelling around the country from festival to festival, I found myself wanting to join in the fun. I was lucky enough to be offered a pitch at Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire so I quickly agreed and set about planning. I managed to recruit a team of friends all too easily with the promise that “you’ll get a free ticket plus food & booze - may need to help out in the van at some point but should be pretty relaxed”. Little did I know the next four days was to be far from relaxed. From 8am until 2am, tea and crumpets were flying out of the hatch. After a bit of a scrabble to keep up on the first day, we had to invent a new system to manage the pace and make sure these drunk/hungover/tired/cold people were getting their brews as quickly as possible! The best thing was just not to look out the front, keep our heads down and keep brewing as the queue didn’t seem to get any shorter!
But we got through it. We laughed a lot, had great feedback from customers, lots of regulars over the course of the weekend and were more efficient than ever. And despite aching legs, croaky voices and chronic lack of sleep, my poor friends, having been falsely promised a weekend of music-fuelled fun, instead worked tirelessly to pull it off. Not only will I feel eternally grateful for their help, but seeing the endless line of people waiting to get their cup of G&P was also a very surreal moment and one I’m not sure I’ll ever forget.
After a week or so back at the comparatively calm Kings Cross, and just as the summer felt like it was coming to an end, another festival invite came in. This time, End of the Road - a little known but much-loved gem of an event with an incredible music line-up. We couldn’t resist dragging that summer feeling out a bit longer and were very honoured to be asked so didn’t hesitate in confirming our attendance. So Watson & I and a last minute team of crumpeteers headed to deepest, darkest Dorset. We had a bit of a hairy journey struggling up hills with a very heavy load - with no shops for miles around there would be no emergency runs for milk or butter so we really were full to the brim with supplies!
The festival was another great success – as crazy as Wilderness but with some Sigur Ros thrown in – and we were particularly excited to serve none other than JARVIS COCKER a Good & Proper brew. I’m tempted to put the photo on the wall of the van in the hope that it might be the start of a ‘celebrity customer’ wall but I’m not sure there’ll be many more anytime soon!
We were also at Soho House's amazing House Festival in aid of War Child and KERB's Saturday event at Granary Square, both of which were great, sunny events.
Back to school
We’ve had a couple of events since, including Vodafone Fashion Weekend at Somerset House and the Classic Car Boot at the Southbank, but have otherwise returned to our posts at Kings Cross and Brockley Market where the cold brews have been replaced with warming hot ones and familiar faces from Central Saint Martins have returned post-break. So you can still find us there anytime you’re in town..
We’ve had a flurry of press excitement, seemingly all at once, and been lucky enough to be featured in the following since I last wrote:
Watson has also been featured in the latest Eurostar campaign airing this week! Apparently, if you come to London, you could meet the love of your life under the hatch of a certain tea van! See if you can spot him in the London film here: http://stories.eurostar.com/
So there is our news. Despite lots of great stuff, it is still a very long journey ahead (if I had a penny for every time someone asked me for a coffee…) but I am more excited than ever about the future of G&P and hope you are too.
Come and see us if ever you can and in the meantime, happy brewing and keep your eyes peeled for a new member of the team: Moriartea, a stand-alone Brew Bar being built as we speak : )
It has been a while and Watson & I have been busy busy but I wanted to let you know what we’ve been up to and what we have coming up in case you are able to come to anything…
The brief moments of sun we have had were just what we needed to get people out of their offices and up to the van and momentum quickly picked up again following the endless months of cold. In fact every time the sun comes out I am inundated with requests for iced tea! After a few failed attempts to convince people that hot tea was really what they needed to cool down, I set to work at creating a refreshing tea for a hot day that didn't stray too far from the quality and simplicity of our current hot teas. I wasn't keen to serve up a sweet, syrupy cocktail of teas when the rest had been so carefully chosen and brewed. So after much experimentation and with the help of lots of guinea-pig customers, when the sun comes out, we now serve our very own Cold Brew. The tea is freshly infused with cold, filtered water over a few hours, resulting in a delicious, sweet and genuinely refreshing brew. The Darjeeling works particularly well, to which we add elderflower, raspberry & mint ice cubes to give the glass some colour!
But predictably just as we had cracked the iced tea, the weather changed again – a few weeks ago, as I am sure you remember, felt like February and we were back to hot cups to warm cold hands while they wait, #tworders to avoid getting soaked in the rain and a general lack of people out on the streets again! Such a shame but fingers crossed that that thing they call summer will occur at some point and bring with it good times (and Cold Brews!) for all. So far not much sign of it - as I write I am sitting in the van on a grey day with the rain rattling on Watson’s roof!
Here is a quick run down of what we have been up to since my last update too:
- We took Watson to the O2 for Sundance Film Festival - spending 3 days inside the O2 arena was a bit Truman show-esque but it was an interesting event nonetheless.
- We fed tea & crumpets to a giant gaggle of orange-clad runners at a Nike event in Victoria Park
- We spent a sunny, albeit snoozy (!), afternoon in the gardens of the beautiful Ham House for the National Trust
- I did an elevator pitch in an actual elevator at the Heron Tower - see here for my nerve-wracking descent!
- We hosted the gang from Kickstarter NYC and their London following for tea & crumpets in Shoreditch
- Watson had his first bath (looks no different)
- We had the chance to serve a cup of Assam to the very family that grow it!
- And most recently (and excitingly) we had our first ever mega queue at Hurlingham Polo in the Park - it turns out lots of women in dresses & slightly nippy weather = great tea conditions! It was madness but great fun, we learned a lot and we got the tea out to those in need so all in all an amazing few days!
In the next couple of weeks we’ll be heading to Cheam School Sports Day, doing tea time for a few private events, the World Rowing Championships at Eton Dorney (!) and even recreating the G&P brew bar on a riverboat!
In between these varied events I will be brewing up at Kings Cross every week as usual so if any of you who haven’t yet been to visit get the chance, I would love to serve you your first cup of G&P.
Until then, I hope you are all well - keep spreading the G&P word and remember to encourage friends and family to visit the website for their tea! It all helps keep this mission moving – it’s going to be a long road ahead!
A huge thank you for your support, as well as your name listed on the website as one of the founding supporters.
A Good & Proper illustrated postcard, G&P loyalty card, and your name listed on the website as one of the founding supporters.
Add £2 to ship outside the UK
One of the first ever bags of Good & Proper tea - choose from our selection of blacks, greens and oolongs! Plus a Good & Proper illustrated postcard, G&P loyalty card and your name listed on the website as one of the founding supporters.
Add £8 to ship outside the UK
Two of the first ever bags of Good & Proper tea - choose from our selection of blacks, greens and oolongs! AND one of our beautiful illustrated cotton tote bags, designed exclusively for Good & Proper. Plus illustrated postcard, G&P loyalty card and your name listed on the website as one of the founding supporters.
Add £10 to ship outside the UK
*Great for Christmas presents!*
Gift pack of 3 of the first ever bags of Good & Proper tea - choose from our selection of blacks, greens and oolongs AND get a Good & Proper in-cup brewer to make brewing the teas that bit easier...All beautifully presented in a gift box ready to put under the tree. Plus you'll get one of our beautiful illustrated cotton tote bags, designed exclusively for Good & Proper, an illustrated postcard, G&P loyalty card and your name listed on both the website AND the van as one of the founding supporters.
Add £15 to ship outside the UK
*Great for Christmas presents!*
Exclusively for Kickstarter backers, a 6 month subscription to Good & Proper tea for you or a friend, with a packet of tea sent to your door every month. Either choose to receive your favourites or try something new by letting us send you a different tea each time. You'll also receive a Good & Proper in-cup brewer with your first delivery to make brewing the teas that bit easier...Plus you'll get one of our beautiful illustrated cotton tote bags, designed exclusively for Good & Proper, an illustrated postcard, G&P loyalty card and your name listed on both the website AND the van as one of the founding supporters.
NB Backers can choose to have 6 x packets of tea in one delivery if preferred (international backers can ONLY choose this option)
Add £25 to ship outside the UK
*Great for Christmas presents!*
Exclusively for Kickstarter backers, a 12 month subscription to Good & Proper tea for you or a friend, with a packet of tea sent to your door every month for a whole year! Either choose to receive your favourites or try something new by letting us send you a different tea each time. You'll also receive a Good & Proper in-cup brewer with your first delivery to make brewing the teas that bit easier...Plus you'll get one of our beautiful illustrated cotton tote bags, designed exclusively for Good & Proper, an illustrated postcard, G&P loyalty card and your name listed on both the website AND the van as one of the founding supporters.
NB Backers can choose to have 2 x 6 month subscriptions instead for you AND a friend if preferred, and we'll make sure you both get the in-cup brewer too. International backers can choose to have equivalent number of packets of tea in one delivery.
Add £50 to ship outside the UK
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Exclusively for Kickstarter backers only, a private tea tasting event at your home for you and 9 friends. Guests will be taken through the basics of where teas are grown, how they are processed, health benefits and more! Most importantly we'll discuss what differentiates one tea from another and even taste the difference, helping you find your favourite. Each guest will also receive a packet of Good & Proper tea plus in-cup brewer for easy brewing, meaning they'll leave with everything they need to make a delicious cuppa at home. No more tea bags! As the host, you will also have your name listed on both the website AND van as one of the founding supporters.
NB Backers can also choose to have equivalent number of packs of tea/brewers. International backers should opt for this option only.
Add £30 to ship outside the UK
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Free hire of the van for your event, party or wedding. We will bring the van to you, wherever the event is in the UK and serve Good & Proper tea, adding a completely unique touch to your event! Call out fee, plus all the tea up to 100 guests can drink (!) will be included. Food/champagne/tea cocktails etc can also be served from the van but at an additional cost. Full details on request.
NB Don't worry if you don't have an event coming up - this reward can be swapped for 4 x 12 month subscription(s) for your and/or your friends or equivalent number of packs of tea/brewers.