New tea company takes over Coquitlam Centre space from shuttered store

A new tea store is steeping in Coquitlam out of the ashes of an outlet shuttered by another company.

T. Kettle announced that it will be moving into the Coquitlam space that was formerly run by DavidsTea – a company that has closed most of its Canadian locations, including three in Burnaby.

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Entrepreneur and businessman Doug Putman is the person behind T. Kettle.

“We believe that loose-leaf tea is poised for a similar comeback, and we’re merging our expertise in retail operations with our passion for tea to bring T. Kettle to cities across Canada and the U.S.," Putman said in a news release.

T. Kettle stores will feature certified vegan, kosher, organic blends, with all products ethically sourced and sustainable, the release said.

Putman is looking to open 45 locations in nine Canadian provinces and six U.S. states.

The T. Kettle news comes after DavidsTea closed 82 other stores in Canada and all 42 of its stores in the U.S. in early July to focus on its e-commerce business and supplying grocery stores and pharmacies.

The company said at the time that it would seek more favourable lease terms for the remaining 100 stores in Canada and may permanently shut additional locations if landlords are unwilling to negotiate suitable leases.

DavidsTea now says it was able to secure new, more favourable lease terms and conditions for 18 of its locations, which will reopen.

The company has obtained creditor protection under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) warned in mid-June that it could begin a formal restructuring depending on the outcome of its talks with landlords, who hadn't received rent from David's Tea for April, May and June.

"We believe that a select group of our best-performing stores, complementing our growing online and wholesale business model and supported by an entrepreneurial organization, will enhance DavidsTea's ability to emerge from the CCAA restructuring process as a more sustainable and resilient organization," stated company founder, chairman and interim CEO Herschel Segal.

The 18 stores are located in major shopping malls. Seven are in Quebec, five in Ontario and the rest in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

"Our decision to reopen these select stores is consistent with our objective to create a leaner, more efficient company, positioned for long-term growth."

- With files from the Canadian Press


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