The roots of 7115 are deeply embedded in the small business culture. It’s no secret that the last few years have been tough for small business owners, but it’s also shown the resilience, grit, and care that small business owners possess. This year, we want to tend to the roots that helped us grow through sharing with you small businesses that we love both near and far. Over the course of the season you’ll hear from comrades we deeply admire, who run soul-filled businesses that are focused on building community.
The first we’d like to share with you is Sing Tehus, a tea room and tea supplier in Copenhagen, established in 2006 by Mette Marie Kjær. Our first encounter with Sing Tehus is one that is steeped in full-circle moments, which reminds us of the magic of frequenting small businesses. We first heard about them through an email that we received from a customer back in 2016, where she provided us with a list of places to visit in Copenhagen. In 2019, we finally met this customer in person when we opened our Copenhagen store, and she reminded us of some of her favorite spots to visit in the city — Sing Tehus was the highlight that stood out to us, and it just so happened that we were searching for a good, high quality tea to serve in our store. Through this word-of-mouth encounter, we found ourselves standing in front of a counter of elaborate tea options with an incredibly friendly, kind, and patient shopkeeper named Jonathan.
Jonathan showed extreme sincerity and kindness, bringing out delicious tea sample after tea sample, walking us through options, brewing processes, and even offering suggestions of what he thought would work best for the experience at 7115. During that first visit, Jonathan slipped up a card with Mette’s name and number on it, and told us to come back whenever we needed to chat about tea. We were moved by his level of care and the personal touch that you can only experience when visiting a place in person. Since then, we’ve been serving the sencha med matcha tea from Sing Tehus in our Copenhagen store, and spreading the word about this very special and inviting tea shop whenever we can. The best part? The customer who first introduced us to Sing Tehus is someone you might recognize: it’s our very own team member, Laura, who you’ve likely shared a conversation and a cup of tea with in our Copenhagen store. Full-circle moments, right? We hope you enjoy learning about Sing Tehus from Mette and her hearty team.
7115: What inspired or motivated you to open up Sing Tehus?
Mette: The starting point was to deepen an understanding of tea culture and the tea room as a place where we can cultivate our mind and spirit, by increasing awareness, creating positivity, and love — an essential motivation for creating a tea room in contemporary society. Around the time of opening Sing Tehus, I met a Danish architect who presented to me his case study on the healing room which focused on Japanese temples and the tea room. The tea room can serve with healing inputs on a daily basis.
7115: Describe your small business in three words: Mette: Community, natural, balance.
7115: Can you tell us what makes your experience of a teahouse so uniquely yours? What is something that the experience of Sing Tehus offers which patrons won't be able to find elsewhere?
Mette: We believe in the strength of building a community in order to give back to nature. Our wish is to give back to nature, to connect through tea, and to support small farms and farmers.
7115: While challenges are a universal part of running a small businesses, sometimes the nature of our businesses can pose unique challenges that only we encounter. Have you encountered any challenges that are unique to Sing Tehus, and if so, what pushes you to overcome them?
Mette: To work with small farmers is a challenge due to the small scale tea production they offer. However, it's an essential value for us to keep on doing this and keep creating more possibilities to reach out to more small scale farmers. This goal will never disappear.
7115: What is one feeling you want people to have after spending time at Sing Tehus?
Mette: Appreciation, gratitude, and love.
7115: Send it forward. What's another small business you love?
Mette: Klippingegaard, a small farm shop in Stevns countryside where we live.