Tell it through Food” is a SFYN Amsterdam series of stories about sustainable food entrepreneurs. Every one of these food lovers has their own background, motivation and struggles when it comes to sustainable entrepreneurship. We share their stories, to inspire the ones who read them!
Story #1 : Edvina Erebara, founder of tea brand ‘Lemon Poppy TEA’
Sometimes you only realize how precious certain things are in life when you leave your own, known environment. That’s what Edvina Erebara, owner of Lemon Poppy Tea, experienced when she moved from Albania to Amsterdam. It even drove her to starting a sustainable business.
The magic of Albanian mountain tea
Edvina grew up drinking an Albanian mountain tea, called Çaj Mali (‘ts-jai mali’) –, or Sideritis Raeseri, in Albania. During the colder months, a hot cup of Çaj Mali with some honey and lemon was a real treat, and perfect for chasing away a winter cold. In fact, her family used to proudly tell her how this tea had been keeping them healthy for thousands of years.
When she moved to the Netherlands to study, Edvina discovered that Çaj Mali was nowhere to be found. So she had to stock up with enough tea before leaving home to see her through the long Northern European winter nights. That’s what sparked the idea to bring mountain tea to Amsterdam, in all its whole-leaf, heart-warming glory.
Lemon Poppy in business
This idea grew out to the brand ‘Lemon Poppy’, which was born in 2015 and has been supplying tea to discerning drinkers ever since. Building a brand on an ethically-produced, sustainable product is very important for Edvina. She considers the impact of Lemon Poppy tea on people and the planet at every stage of production. Every summer she visits Albania to seek out the best quality organic, wild-growing tea available. Sourcing directly from local farmers who hand pick each and every flower and leaf found in your box of Lemon Poppy tea before it’s naturally dried.
Edvina’s sustainable story
The reasons why Edvina finds it important to run her business sustainably is the pureness and simplicity of the tea itself. The main idea and mission of Lemon Poppy Tea is to respect the product by offering the tea as pure and clean as it grows on the Albanian mountain tops.
What Edvina has learned so far is that running a sustainable business is not easy. It takes a lot more time, energy and capital and there are no shortcuts in doing so. However, not compromising on the choices she felt where the best, did pay off on the long term. One of Edvina’s main motivations is to inspire others to make sustainable business- and live choices. “I hope this story inspires people to become more critical about what we consume and why we consume it!”.
Check out Edvina’s beautiful website and her socials: Instagram & Facebook.
Story: Edvina Erebara
Writing: Isabelle Spierings
Illustration: Jikke Lesterhuis