Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Monday, December 2, 2013

McMurray Musings Business of Note: David's Tea

Like many others in this community I am always excited when a  new business opens, providing new opportunities and new options. We have been fortunate this year to have a number of businesses open, particularly in the Peter Pond Mall where the disappearance of Zellers made way for a number of small businesses. One of these, and one of which I have become inordinately fond, is David's Tea.

The very first David's Tea opened in Toronto on Queen Street, a street with which I am very familiar having lived in Toronto for a good part of my twenties. This little tea business caught on like wildfire, spreading down into the United States and across Canada, including heading west. Prior to the opening of a store here one could only find it in Edmonton or online, but now we have our own little David's Tea store - and I am deeply grateful we do.

We can start talking about product quality, which is astonishingly high, and encompasses everything from loose teas to gift packages to tea pots and tea measuring spoons. Every item has been designed and created with the tea lover in mind, and I have become rather addicted to their tea offerings, despite my chronic addiction to coffee (I drink coffee all day, to be honest, and switch to tea in the evenings). But the reason I am grateful we have an outlet here isn't just because of the product quality, however - it's because of the David's Tea employees.

On occasion I have griped about businesses with poor employee ethics, where ignoring the customer seems to be the game and where you are lucky to get a second look let alone assistance. The employees at our local David's Tea defies this game, and their customer attentiveness is incredible, particularly in a place where as a customer you sometimes feel an expectation of being ignored.

I admit it freely. I have tested them on several occasions, just wandering in at all times, when they are busy and when they are quiet, to see how they respond. Without fail I am greeted with a smile and offered a free tasting sample. Without fail I am asked if I am looking for something in particular, and without fail if I say I am just looking they leave me to my own devices, but are readily available should I have a question. They have dug around their stock to find me the teapot I wanted, and they have explained certain teas to me. And they have something else, too, these employees - they have an energy and enthusiasm you rarely see anymore, and they seem genuinely happy to work with each other and their customers.

I have been to the local David's Tea store many times now. I have never been disappointed, not even once, and have often left with a huge smile on my face after a conversation about tea or the weather or my job (when I told them I do social media and communications for a living I was amused by their surprise that this was even considered a "real job"). I now spend a good deal of my retail cash there, buying things for myself and gifts for others, because I believe in supporting businesses that offer not only quality products but quality retail experiences, and David's does exactly this.

So, this is my official endorsement of a relatively new business in our community that is "doing it right" - and not only doing it right but doing it brilliantly, building a strong customer base and brand and experience recognition that will stand them well as this community grows and business competition begins to heat up. If you have not visited David's Tea yet I encourage you to go, and even if you are not a tea lover I think there is much to be gained from a visit there. In a community where we often forget what the retail experience should be, David's Tea in the Peter Pond Mall is a reminder of days gone by when customers and retailers interacted not just as a business transaction but as community members. And with this I deem David's Tea to be a business of note in Fort McMurray, and I hope you will pay them a visit soon if you have not already done so - I can guarantee you will be glad you did!


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