The Reporter went along to 24 Hill Street one Wednesday afternoon in January, for the first time in a long long time! In the old days it used to be a bit of a lunchtime haunt, offering lovely salads and healthy foods, but only open during the week and closed at weekends. Now it is revitalised under the ownership of Tracey Laycock.

We were invited to afternoon tea with the founder of Mama Tea, Anna Louise Simpson,

It was however an afternoon of firsts.

It is the owner Tracey’s first month in business running 24 Hill Street as a place to hang out, eat breakfast, drink coffee or do lunch, depending on the time of day. Soon there will be wifi too, meaning that it could fast become The Reporter’s new haunt.

It was the first afternoon tea Party thrown by Mama Tea, and for marketing manager, Karen Dunne, it was her first day at work with Mama Tea!

Founder of Mama Tea, Anna Louise Simpson. was about to go off on her first trip to San Francisco, as she has customers even as far away as the west coast of America.

On her very first day of business she received a telephone call from Oman asking for a shipment of her tea. She thought it was a friend playing a practical joke……but actually it was for real!

Tea entrepreneur, Anna Louise  won the prestigious “Best Start-Up Award” awarded by the UK Mumpreneur Conference,in September last year.

One of 6 finalists, Anna Louise was delighted to win her first business award and said at the time:- “I am completely over the moon to win this award! It means a lot to me to receive this recognition. A big thanks is due to everyone who has supported me but most of all to all the loyal Mama Tea customers!”
Mama Tea was founded in April 2009 and is a range of caffeine-free herbal tea that not only tastes good but is also good for pregnant and nursing women. Simpson secured a contract with Waitrose 4 weeks after she started trading and a contract with Tesco by the end of year one.

The company also supplies one of the world’s largest maternity retailers, Destination Maternity, based in the U.S.
Simpson has plans to expand the e-commerce side of the business, so that international fans of Mama Tea can buy the tea direct from the website, which will be in lots of different languages. She also intends using social media to attract more customers from all over the world.

But for the moment we were happy to be invited along to a lovely afternoon tea party – with cupcakes….