a day in my shoes, tea industry, tea business, blog, gail gastelu, the tea house times
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January 2014 Posts


A Day in My Shoes
Blog Entry

Episode 14, Part 1 - A Day in MY Shoes - Gail Gastelu

Monday, January 13th 2014 @ 10:56 AM

A Day in My Shoes – Episode 14 - Gail Gastelu, Publisher/Editor in Chief, The Tea House Times





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Welcome to A Day in My Shoes – a blog and sometimes vlog as The Tea House Times publisher, Gail Gastelu, puts herself in another person’s shoes for the day – going behind the scenes in the tea industry!  If you are just joining us, go to the Archived entries in the left column to catch up - beginning with January 2013.  OR

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EPISODE 14, Part 1 – A DAY IN MY SHOES – GAIL GASTELU   (Click here for Part 2 - )

Welcome back to A Day in My Shoes.

First things first -- I want to wish you a very Happy New Year! More than that, I wish you plenty of wonderful experiences enjoying tea with friends and family.  And, if you are in the business of serving or selling tea, I wish you a very prosperous year ahead and encourage you to contact me for any assistance or input you might need for advancing your business.

Time flies so quickly!  It has been an entire year since I started this series -- going behind the scenes in the tea industry. Throughout 2013, I really put myself out there, welllll outside of my comfort zone.  But, it is a labor of love and such a unique way for all of us to learn more about the tea industry through hands-on experience… living through another person’s shoes for the day.

So far, I have shopped for restaurant supplies, planned menus, washed dishes, cooked and prepared food and tea, served tables, run a tea room gift shop, taken reservations, and so much more to really dig deep into the life of a tea room owner and their staff.  I have also taken a seat next to some amazing tea industry executives as well.  It has been an immense pleasure and privilege to work with everyone over the past year.

To kick off 2014 I’ve decided it will be my turn first and I feel a little strange doing this, but so many people have asked what it is like in MY shoes.  So let’s see what it is like to spend A Day in MY Shoes rather than me putting myself in someone else’s shoes for a change.  After this episode, surprise, surprise, we will be moving into coffee for a short time to see what it is like to run a coffee business where they also sell and serve tea.  Oh the adventures we are about to embark on . . . keep following along because it will be great fun, for me anyway. But I hope you enjoy it too!  And, no worries, we Will stay focused on tea!  : )

Before I tell you what it is like to really spend a day in My shoes, I will offer up a quick history of my business for those who may not be aware of the long list of things I do.  So this episode will span over a few weeks just as the others have.

The Tea House Times is my company, founded in 2003, as a way to help tea room owners connect with and educate their customers.  We just celebrated the 10th Anniversary with publication of the NovDec2013 issue and now we are already in layout for MarApr2014.

Moving on, in 2008 I introduced Tea Bureau, an online tea business directory, representation service, and news bureau, as a perk for The Tea House Times advertisers and a resource for the public and tea business owners to find products and services. An important part of that was the introduction of a Tea Speakers Bureau – a listing service for tea industry speakers as well. 

In 2008, I also introduced TeaCourse.com. This is online education for tea enthusiasts and tea industry professionals whether they are selling or serving tea in a tea or coffee environment.  Considered continuing education, most of our students have been with us since inception and it has been extremely successful and appreciated. There are over 200 topics, tea market reports, educational handouts, and other tools for tea business success. Tea Course features weekly updates… since learning never ends….and staying in business requires constant study. Tea Course is a very affordable, consistent, and reliable educational program for the tea industry --when compared to the thousands of dollars spent by huge corporations per year per employee for education, you will see this as an asset.

It has always been my desire to bring attention to quality resources that will connect businesses and consumers, so I created The Tea House Times Seal of Approval to help distinguish great products. This is something I try to update yearly after I have had a chance to really study a business and determine the quality of their products and customer service.

In 2010 I created The Tea Industry Who’s Who directory to help those new to the industry learn about and put a face to the most prominent men and women in the tea industry. This directory is a work in progress….more of a pet project of mine and grows just a little at a time….when I find a little extra time to contact people for inclusion!

In 2011 I introduced a service to create Custom Training Websites for larger tea corporations.  Some of my clients for this are confidential and not listed among my services.  The websites go from very basic to full networking, learning, and private log-in areas for company officials and their staff. 

In 2011, I also teamed up with the Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette to produce an online training program for Tea Etiquette Certification. It includes six training modules covering all kinds of business etiquette, dining etiquette, tea etiquette and tea business success tools. 

In 2012/2013 I started TeaRetreat.com as another pet project to bring people together more often in unique ways – whether people are tea enthusiasts or tea business owners seeking more networking opportunities. I am currently working on two unique events for 2014 and a possible Bermuda Cruise for 2015. 

So that covers the basics of what I do, but next week I will describe more of a typical day in my shoes.  For now, I will list below several of the main services I provide through my business. Be sure to check out our latest tea news feeds and get the scoop – TEA SCOOP – that is! 

Please visit the following websites published and founded by me through The Tea House Times, LLC:












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