Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Profit - American Tea and Spice (Tea 2 Go) Update

Tonight on The Profit Marcus Lemonis is in Dallas, Texas with hopes of making a deal with Tea 2 Go. Tea 2 Go is a tea shop that has multiple locations and franchisees, most of which are in Texas.  When Marcus is there, he finds a father and son whose personal lives are impacting their business.  The tea shop also only has tea and does not have other options such as coffee or food items.  While there, Marcus re-brands Tea 2 Go as American Tea and Spice.

Let's take a look at some information related to American Tea and Spice as well as what kind of deal was made on the show.

News and Links Related To The Company:

  • Here is the American Tea and Spice Shop Facebook Page.
  • Here is the American Tea and Spice Shop website, which just launched.
  • The Tea2Go location in Coppell, TX was re-branded as American Tea and Spice Shop in August 2016.
  • Here is a picture from the makeover and you will notice Sweet Pete's (season 2) has some products on the shelf at American Tea and Spice Shop.  There are also a few complaints from customers that prices have increased too much.
  • Here are Yelp reviews of American Tea and Spice Shop, most of which are from before the makeover and most are positive.
  • Here is the Tea2Go website, which lists 10 locations (9 in TX, 1 in AZ) including their Coppell location that was re-branded.
  • Many of the Tea2Go's have their own Facebook page, so there are many Tea2Go Facebook pages.  Here is one that seems to announce the new store locations.
  • Some Tea2Go locations have closed (according to Yelp) such as Denton, Sugar Land, Lubbock, Amarillo, Farmers Branch, Austin and Colleyville (didn't pay rent).  Not sure if this was due to Marcus Lemonis' advice or other reasons.
  • The Sugar Land location had a question on their Facebook page in May 2016 asking why they closed, which they responded, "The owner has too many projects on his hands, and couldn't keep up with them all, so he stopped working on the project he was least invested financially in. The employees are just as shocked, considering the inconsiderate employer did not notify anyone of the store's closing. We simply came into work to see all of the tea gone. A very sad day for tea lovers everywhere."
  • The Denton location (which is closed) posted a link to the show on Facebook and someone responded, "Will it explain why this location closed with such little notice? First the plastic cups disappeared, then it had the styrofoam cups, and then the doors were locked and it was empty inside... RIP tea bar"
  • A September post on an American Tea Facebook page has someone saying, "This is not a tea2go or any association of the tea2go brand! The profit is a crook!"
  • It appears there were two civil cases filed against Tea2Go in 2016. One from February titled "Centre Lubbock TX LLC against Tea 2 Go LLC and Jeffrey Hunt" and one from May titled "Trinkets and Tea LLC against Jeff Hunt, Taylor Logan and Tea 2 Go LLC." I have no more information what those are about though.

The Deal From The Episode Plus Post-Show Updates (this will be updated continually):

  • The Deal - $350,000 for 70% of the business.  The money would be used for working capital and to develop a proven concept at a single store.  
  • Marcus later partnered with Manish Shah from Maya Tea's and wanted to expand into the spice business as well.
  • Manish Shah from Maya Tea's, who was on the show, appears some videos on the American Tea & Spice website.
  • The new website has a form to fill out if you are interested in franchising.\
  • UPDATE 10/18/2016 - After the episode, Jeff posted this on the Tea 2 Go Facebook Page:
Tea2Go's response to the TV show we agreed to participate in:
Since there has been and apparently will continue to be many people making personal attacks on me as an individual and Tea2Go as a whole, myself and our franchisees felt it best to address the situation. While it is unfortunate that there were many misrepresentations in the show, it is just that a "show". Our stance is to leave it at that. We are a Christian based company that supports the communities we are apart of. We value each one of our customers every day and do our absolute best to make their visit a great experience. I can also assure you that we have great franchisees and staff members across the board at Tea2Go whom are all good and caring individuals. We are going to continue to do what we do best and that's bringing community support to every town we call home and a tasty product to drink! Myself and Tea2Go wishes nothing but future success to American Tea & Spice with their new concept and adventure, and furthermore would encourage you to visit the Coppell, TX location remodeled for the show.
The store owners are great people and would love the support.
To address what appears to be the big issue, and it's extremely disheartening as a father to see how my relationship was portrayed with my son. This is a company page and not a place to share my personal feelings and this will be the one and only time. I'm a strong Christian man who believes in family first and foremost. The power of edit and the need to create TV drama is certainly understandable but also unfortunate. I LOVE my son, always have and always will. I know with 100% certainty he knows that and he also knows that I want nothing but the absolute best for him and his future. I would die to save him an ounce of pain as any father should. Have I failed him at times' I most certainly have. I think we all fall short at times but how we respond is what defines us as individuals. What wasn't shown or said I've simply made the choice to not address or comment on.
While it is everyone's right to their opinion and that's why we all live in this great country, we only ask that you please remember this is a public page. Every one of our franchisees and myself value all the support that each of you have shown and continue to show us everyday. We can not continue to grow and change without your support and input.
God Bless!
Jeff Hunt, President Tea2Go

            • There are also people commenting on that post that appear to be Tea 2 Go franchisees.  It appears that only 1 franchise agreed to go to American Tea & Spice (the one made over for the show).  Also on that Facebook Post, someone who seems to be a Tea 2 Go franchisee said: "Funny how they cut out all of the promises that Marcus made to the Franchisees. We stayed united with Tea2Go for a very simple reason. He tried his best to drive a wedge between us that day and we held together so strong. I'm so proud to be part of Tea2Go! And thank you Jeff for all that you do for each and every one of us. You're changing lives!  It's obvious that Marcus' airport was missing some regulatory signs that day... Don't Mess With Texas!!"
            • Another franchisee said, "Jeff - it is a public testament to you and the franchise that you created that Tea2Go, under your leadership, stays intact with the majority of the current franchisees choosing NOT to go with Lamonis. I believe he betrayed us franchisees. And, I hold him directly responsible for the very costly delays in the scheduled build-out of stores. It has certainly caused a hardship with my 25-year-old son and his wife. He and his people were supposed to help franchisees with their build-outs and upgrades. Somewhere along the way, he chose not to do that. Lamonis the cheerleader came in and gave us so much hope and excitement for his new and improved version, then, we were uninvited. He pretty much took our franchise concept, and our supplier, and moved forward to create his own competitive version of our stores. This is how some people choose to get ahead in business. Glad we're not part of it. Good news is - we're motivated! Can't wait to be a bigger part of this Tea2Go picture! And, may God heal your relationship with your son. I believe that will happen - it may take a bit of time..."
              • She also said the original deal with Jeff was $750,000.  Another franchisee also said Marcus offered $750,000 and then after filming, he reduced the percentage from 30% to 10%. 
            • So it appears that all of the Tea 2 Go Franchisees (besides the one changed to American Tea and Spice) decided to stay with Tea 2 Go.  Also the franchisees feel they were betrayed by Marcus Lemonis and think he took their concept.
            In January 2017, Taylor posted on his Facebook Page, "I'm grateful to announce that I start back at UT this coming Tuesday! I want to give thanks to Marcus Lemonis, The Profit, and the all the other wonderful people in the organization who are making this possible! 2017 shall be a great year indeed!"

            UPDATE 8/2017 - It looks like American Tea and Spice has changed their name to American Tea and Coffee.  They will still carry spices, but the spices will no longer be a focus according to a Facebook Post. (Link)

            *To see how all of the businesses from The Profit are doing, go to the The Profit Updates page, and also Like us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter to stay up to date with all things involving The Profit.

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