Come say hello in person at our popup tearoom at 359 Blackwell St. in Durham, NC - Mon-Fri from 7am to 3pm. Follow along on Instagram @jeddahstea
We started Jeddah's Tea in June of 2018 with the intention of doing something that made us happy, honored the life and legacy of "Jeddah," and supplemented our very modest income. Unable to spend time together as a family, as Wael worked 2 full-time jobs, we would draw up dreams in notebooks and pass them back-and-forth. This was our most consistent form of communication, and the method by which we began our journey. Wael envisioned a space where communities could convene over a good cup of tea; Morgan envisioned a space for education and enlightenment. Our budget envisioned a dead-end.
With $250 borrowed from Morgan's mother and a "nothing-to-lose" attitude, we signed-up to vend at a Juneteenth celebration in Durham, NC. We scraped to afford fees and rented a pick-up truck, beverage dispensers, a tent, a cooler, and bought a banner. The morning of the event, we were literally looking under our dressers, rummaging through our pockets and taking our kids' older clothes to consignment stores so that we could afford change and ice.
And that was the day that everything changed...
At the event later that day, we met and spoke at length with Councilwoman DeDreana Freeman who, for some reason, saw something in us. She and her husband encouraged us to keep going, saying that Durham would be receptive to what we had to offer. That bit of love and support put fuel in the Jeddah's Tea flame, and her unwavering support is the foundation of all that we've been able to do in the last 10 months.
We were also able to build relationships with DDI, who not only made us feel welcome in Durham, but quite literally opened doors for us to have our first pop-up series at The Pinhook (thanks Kym!), and also assisted in us securing a brick-and-mortar space at 123 Market, set to open SUMMER 2019!
For the past 10 months, we have been doing pop-up events all over the Triangle, gained a small (but mighty) following, and really have fostered the best community we could have ever asked for. Alas, here we are, so close to fulfilling the true vision for Jeddah's Tearoom- creating a community space for people to connect over, learn about & enjoy top-quality teas from around the world, in Downtown Durham, NC.
In our fast-paced society, Jeddah's Tearoom will be the spot for you to slow down, be mindful, and truly engage with folks around you (or a good book, if that's what's calling you). The vision is to create a beautiful atmosphere for people of all backgrounds and all walks of life, where everyone feels like they have a place at the table. It's about creating community - about connecting people to cultures and to each other - one cup at a time. This teahouse is our medium.
WHAT'S SPECIAL ABOUT JEDDAH'S TEA:
We focus on preparing tea blends from countries that are underrepresented in the American tea market (ex. Somaliland, Senegal, Egypt). By doing this, we find that it sparks a curiosity about people from geographies, traditions, and cultures that may be unknown to many in our own. Through inquiry and education, we are hoping to bridge gaps in both our local communities and those across the world in the way that we know best. Our old-world style tearoom is welcome to all that enter with good intention, and will be completely ADA-accessible, aligning with our mission to lower as many barriers as possible for people to engage with one another.
It is important to note that this isn't meant to be an alternative office space for people to post up on their laptops; we want to encourage dialogue and real conversation in a comfortable setting.
All of our tea is organic, fair-trade & vegan-friendly. We work directly with farmers from around the world, and work to source what is available locally as much as possible. We blend all of our teas right here, and aim to present authentic, traditional cups to our community.
Since the day of our first-ever event here in Durham, this city has felt like a warm hug to our family. We want to share that love with as many people here as possible. It's awesome to see how this has all come about so naturally. So, so, SO many hours of hard work, so many sleepless nights, an abundance of tears, but so little resistance. We are blessed with a strong network of people in Durham who want to create space for differences to be celebrated. So many small businesses have already collaborated with us. So many mentors have been beacons of support and provided light in the dark. The Helius Foundation provided a space where we were able to grow from "people who blend good tea" to people who feel confident in running a tearoom. This has truly been a community effort. We love Durham. It's where we want to be. It's where we want to grow roots. It's where we want to raise our kids. It's where we want to give back.
Also, importantly- there's nothing like this here in Downtown Durham, so we're bringing the old-world style teahouse to this city. It's refreshing that people here seem genuinely curious, open-minded, interested in meeting one another, and receptive to new ideas and concepts. We are so excited to serve you!
So far, it's just us:
Morgan, Wael, and our three kids. With your support, we aim to add a few like-hearted members of the community to Jeddah's team. We are excited to provide a safe, inclusive, welcoming and fair living-wage workspace for people from our city so that we can contribute to the vibrant sense of community in Durham.
We plan to open Summer 2019. The next big steps are for us to complete the buildout of the space (underway) and get it ready for you all to enjoy!
WHAT IS THE MONEY FOR?
The funds we raise from this campaign will help us outfit the space, procure major equipment (a refrigerator, kegerator, grinder, steam unit, pour-over unit, ice maker, etc.), and build the actual bar and cabinetry .It will also supply us with some working capital so that we may employ members of our community, and get us going on the right foot so we can ensure a long-standing future serving this community.
Straight up: we're regular, hard-working people who don't have deep pockets of our own, and don't have access to traditional means of funding. We are leaning on YOU - our community - to help make this happen. We appreciate and will reciprocate!
Thanks for joining us on this adventure! We can't wait to serve you.
Risks and challenges
On a project like this, there are so many factors to consider. The main risk is that the buildout and construction could take longer than we anticipate.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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