| 23 Stores (2016)|
Manelle Martino, Peter Martino
Capital Teas, Inc. is an American specialty tea company, headquartered in Annapolis, MD, which primarily sells premium loose tea and tea-related products. The company was founded in 2007 by Peter and Manelle Martino and features over 200 types of specialty teas and infusions, many of them unique.
Capital Teas Wikipedia
The Capital Teas family tradition in the tea trade began in the 1890s with Manelle Martino’s great-great grandfather, Francis Van Reyk, who oversaw one of the first tea estates planted in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Today, Capital Teas features a tea sourced from that very tea estate in the Dimbula region of Sri Lanka, and have named it “Great-Grandfather’s Tea.” Capital Teas has coined the phrase “stop and smell the teas®” and encourages its customers to smell the selection of teas on the “sniffing wall” in each store.
In March 2014, Capital Teas received a $5 million investment round from Pear Tree Partners, based in Massachusetts, to help grow its business. CEO Peter Martino said "“This gives us the flexibility to concentrate on operations and a consistent and positive customer experience, while expanding the number of locations.” The funding will also be used to grow online sales and increase wholesale business to hotels and to restaurants in the DC Metropolitan area and beyond. Peter and Manelle Martino will retain control of the company. Since the funding round, Capital Teas has further bolstered its Board of Directors to include retail experts and a retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral.
Capital Teas is known for being an innovator in the tea industry with products like their tea and alcohol infusions, such as Tea Lager Beer Enhancers and Vino Teano Wine Mixers. In addition, customers can use the free Capital Teas App to pay for tea and products in store.
Capital Teas has 23 locations in seven U.S. states and Washington, D.C., as well as an online store that ships internationally. Some locations only sell loose teas and teawares while other locations also sell single cups of tea. Peter Martino, CEO, plans to add a dozen new stores each year to continue expanding the geographic footprint for Capital Teas.
The signature teas of the company are Annapolis Treasures, Sailor’s Delight, and Chesapeake Sunrise, which are all flavored blends of black and green tea. Other popular blends include Roasted Almond and Chai Masala. The company has also introduced Patriot Blends, each named one of the armed forces, and which are also sold through retail outlets at the U.S. Naval Academy.