The mother-son team of Jennifer and Dakota Case are finally capitalizing on the town where they live.
The duo launched The Dakota Tea Company Nov. 23 after more than 10 years of holding onto the idea of starting such a company. Dakota’s heart issues were the main thing in Jennifer’s life for the past 10 years, but after a successful heart transplant, the two felt it was time to start a business for themselves.
“There’s really no reason why life can’t start. It has basically been on hold for a long, long time,” Dakota said. “Now you can see a future and that future is worth investing in. I’ve got the business degree and she has the idea.”
Jennifer describes herself as an entrepreneur. She and her husband, Chuck, run the Case School of Music in Sioux Falls. Over the years, she has dabbled in making a variety of things like wine, beer, cheese and root beer.
The Cases like the idea of running a tea company based in Tea, S.D. To get their business started, they worked on a strong brand and logo that they designed themselves.
In addition to tea, they also offer “tea-shirts” and hope to offer other branded merchandise like hats, mugs and tea infusers.
“When we decided to do this, we decided to not go the inexpensive route with tea. We wanted to do really nice gourmet teas and loose leaf teas,” Jennifer said.
Watching the trends, they see more interest in those loose leaf teas. They work with wholesalers out of New York state. He sends them samples of the blends they request and then have sampling parties to determine what to offer.
The Dakota Tea Company offers plain teas like black, green, oolong and rooibos. Their blended teas include Dakota Blend, which is an oolong with chestnut and cranberry. Their Dreamcatcher Blend includes honey, peppermint and other natural flavors that they market as a tea to aid in getting a good night’s sleep.
Grandpa’s Favorite Blend is an oolong blend with chocolate, cherries and almond. The tea is a tribute to the late Case family patriarch who loved chocolate covered cherries.
Their fourth blend is the Healing Hearts Blend.
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