Evy Tea, a Boston-based maker of cold brew tea, has closed a $1 million seed round led by Notudis Ventures and Campitor Investment.
Company founder Evy Chen said the raise will largely go toward increasing the company’s production capabilities in order to support expanded distribution and retail efforts. Founded in 2014, Evy Tea’s ready-to-drink line is now available in roughly 500 stores throughout the Northeast, and Chen said she wants to dominate the region before expanding further. The company is currently in serious talks with several top beverage distributors.
“Over the years, a lot of the ideas I’ve had and the feedback I’ve received, I never really had the resources to capitalize on those and make them come true,” Chen said. “Closing the funding has been tremendously helpful, and we’re getting a lot of attention and demand. The money is really going toward funding our growth.”
Chen said Evy Tea has increased its projected production output for the summer by 50 percent from 10,000 gallons of tea to 15,000 gallons.
The company unveiled a new ready-to-drink line of honey-sweetened teas at Summer Fancy Food Show 2017 last month. Chen said the teas are in the pipeline and will be released with a top distributor.
In addition to funding its ready-to-drink business, Evy Tea is also using the money to open its second brick and mortar location. The company opened its first tea bar in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston in 2016, and is readying the grand opening of its second storefront in Charlestown for later this summer.
“For Evy Tea, the vision has always been that we want to change the face of tea as we know it from the ground up; meaning we want to change the way that you experience tea, the way you interact with it, the way you socialize with it,” Chen said. “And that particular vision is difficult to achieve from just an RTD line…. So brick-and-mortar plays to that in the sense that you’re really able to build the tea experience.”
Earlier this year, the company also launched Evy Tea on Tap, a keg program for cafes, offices and fitness centers. The three-pronged business approach, Chen said, goes toward building brand awareness and helping to make Evy Tea a constant in consumers’ lives whether they’re in the store, walking past the tea bars, or drinking the tea at work.