Whimsy Tea Company, a popular farmers market vendor, is opening a brick-and-mortar location at 413 E. Adams in downtown Springfield. Gordon and Laura Davis started the business in spring 2019 and credit Springfield’s business ecosystem for their ability to grow rapidly. The couple took advantage of the programs and networking in Innovate Springfield, Springfield Local First and Downtown Springfield Inc., along with actively cultivating a strong peer network.
“Even through the pandemic, our sales are up pretty significantly,” Gordon Davis said. In addition to selling 35 different types of tea online and at the Old Capitol Farmers Market, Whimsy Tea is offered at Pease’s at Bunn Gourmet and Three Twigs Bakery in Springfield, plus Interurban Market in Williamsville.
The company was profiled in the December 2019 issue of SBJ as part of a feature on Co.Starters graduates, a series of intensive weekly seminars offered through Innovate Springfield intended to help entrepreneurs fine-tune their business plans. At the time, Davis told SBJ, “One thing I learned from Co.Starters is that I’m not a numbers guy. An important concept the program discussed was how to find the break-even point and understand how to scale up over time.”
Davis is now ready to scale up the business and said the former Milk & Honey Fresh Market location was a logical choice, describing it as “pretty close to move-in ready.” He said, “Adams Street has a wonderful vibe, and some really great business owners that we’re already friends with.”
Initially, Whimsy Tea will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., although Davis said hours will be extended for special events happening downtown.
“It’s a family affair, my wife and two adult daughters will be helping out,” Davis said, “The two younger kids will be in and out to help, too.”
A grand opening is planned for Saturday, Oct. 3. Whimsy Tea will offer grand opening specials throughout the day until 5 pm, including 25% off all loose-leaf teas, free 8 oz. samples of hot “Whis-Tea” or “Harvest Festival Peach” and free infuser balls with purchase.
“We want to be part of the revitalization of downtown,” said Davis.