STONE Farmers’ Market regulars are sipping success after landing £15,000 towards their loose leaf tea revival.
Gemma Wright and Nick Serifin, who set up their business The Tea Drop in September 13, have gone on to win Stoke-on-Trent's first Start Up Competition less than a year later.
Their prize includes £15,000 grant investment and professional business mentoring.
The Trent Vale couple sell high quality loose leaf tea at regular local markets, including Stone, and will also be at the Summer of Vintage event at Uttoxeter Racecourse on August 2.
They were up against five other fledgling businesses in the Dragon's Den-style final at the King's Hall in Stoke.
But their passionate pitch to a judging panel made up of established entrepreneurs secured them first place in the contest, organised by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Youth Enterprise.
Nick, 28, said: “We want Stoke-on-Trent to be known as much for tea as it is for tea-ware.
"If you cast your mind back a few years, when people wanted a cup of coffee, they would just pick up a jar of granules. But now people go for ground coffee and spend a few more minute preparing a really good cup of coffee. We think the same thing is happening with tea.
"If you open up a teabag you'll see a lot of dust as well as tea. But what we sell is purely high-quality loose leaf tea."