PekoeTea is Moving
After just over a decade we are saying goodbye to our shop at 20 Leven Street this month with our last trading day on Saturday 24th July. We're not closing down - we're moving to Leith, in the north of Edinburgh.
Unfortunately there have been a few delays getting the new place ready so we won't be opening until late August/Early September. It's going to be worth it though and I am so excited about what we are planning for the future. We will also still be sending out mail orders throughout.
I have mixed feelings about leaving Leven Street. When I opened it on 20th November 2010, it was with a slight trepidation. I really didn't know if it was going to work or if anyone would come in.
At the time, Leven Street wasn't known for anything particularly special. No-one knew where it was either. I had to constantly explain that it was the continuation of Bruntsfield Place. Of course there were a few gems there already - Lupe Pintos, John Saunderson and Joolz for example but it was really seen as a street to travel through on your way either to Bruntsfield or Tollcross.
How things have changed over the past 10 years. I would say that Leven Street had managed to carve itself out as one of Edinburgh's destination streets and it's a great feeling to know that we were part of that.
Our little shop has gone from strength to strength, so much so that I had to move my office and extra stock to a warehouse in 2012 to have enough room to store everything. We had so many customers wanting to come into sit and drink tea that we needed extra space in the shop. We've moved it around several times over the years but the constant that has always been there is our tea bar. This is a heart and soul of what we do - a place for customers to sit round and share and learn about teas and tea culture.
So you may be wondering why we've decided to move?
There are various reasons. Our lease was up for renewal anyway and we needed to decide if we wanted to stay in Leven Street.
I think the pandemic really cemented in my and Esther's minds that we wanted a change of scene. We live on the north side of Edinburgh, we have a young family and our factory is also based in Leith - so the short answer is quality of life and convenience. But that's not the only reason. We have had ideas of where we want to take PekoeTea for a while and unfortunately the Leven Street shop doesn't work for what we are wanting to achieve.
Our New Tea Studio
We have been extremely lucky in securing a historic property at the foot of Leith Walk. It is one of the shops in the old Leith Central Train Station that was built at the start of the 20th century. Fitting out is just about to start with completion around the end of August. We will explain the concept of what a Tea Studio is in a future blog article but one aspect of PekoeTea that is staying the same as Leven Street is there be a form of tea bar/sharing counter.
We have been working with Splintr design in Edinburgh and the designs are wonderful.
I will miss 20 Leven Street, it's been our home for a long time but after a tumultuous 2020, I am certain we will settle into Leith just fine.
Make sure you check our social media and blogs for further updates as we go along.