The South is serious about its tea, and no one takes it more seriously than Huntsville-based Piper & Leaf Tea Company. What started as a farmers market pop-up has grown into a multi-location business that brings in hundreds of thousands of guests each year. Its straight-from-the-farm tea blends create fusions of flavors that take sweet tea to the next level and change the game for fruity, floral, spicy, and minty tea infusions. A modest selection of loose-leaf teas has developed into a small empire that offers home brewing kits, branded apparel, drinkware, subscription boxes, seasonal blends, tea accessories, and an impressive menu of freshly brewed drinks. They’ve created it all while holding tight to hometown vibes and small business roots.
Owners are taking the concept to the next level by opening a new, multi-functional facility in Lacey’s Spring, Alabama. With stores already operating in Huntsville, Madison, Birmingham, and countless wholesale partnerships, what exactly does this new location mean? Piper & Leaf’s Lacey’s Spring site will function as a production base as well as a retail space and café, giving patrons the chance to visit designated growing areas for various tea ingredients, take classes, enjoy tours, and have some family fun.
The new location is slated for its Grand Opening in the summer of 2021.
“This will be the official home of Piper & Leaf,” said Connor Knapp, co-owner of Piper & Leaf. “This is where we will bring the fruits and produce, take care of order fulfillment, and ship to our customers/partners. We want to invite people over to our front porch to sit in a rocking chair, sip on a jar of tea, take a class on brewing methods, and more. It’s a multi-functional site.”
Described as an “old-timey” facility with design inspiration from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, the space is unlike anything the group has created before. When you drive up to the site, a large front porch, rocking chairs, and a colorful tree that acts as a canopy over the store immediately greet you.
The property will act as a farm as well as a place to come and unwind. In the coming weeks, the team will be planting fig trees and getting raised-bed gardening ready for operation where they will produce several ingredients for their teas. Piper & Leaf has brought many of its production duties in-house like printing their own tea bags, boxes, and apparel. All of this on-site production means more space was needed to operate at peak performance.
“Production and wholesale order fulfillment are already running full force at the property,” said Connor. “It will eventually have a functioning café where we will serve our teas and a small menu. We also plan to offer brewing classes to our wholesale partners as well as the public.”
There’s still a lot of work to be done on the site. In the meantime, the team is inviting visitors to get a taste of the experience. They plan to host preview events that feature live music, snacks, and tea tasting. The first of these previews happened last Saturday and they will be taking place every weekend until Christmas.
“We wanted to give the community a chance to see the site and have some socially distanced holiday fun,” said Caleb Christopher, co-owner of the tea business. “We want to end 2020 on a high note and we have plenty of space to spread out here and experience live music, tea tastings, and roasting s’mores.”
Only 20 minutes from downtown Huntsville, Piper & Leaf’s Lacey’s Springs site is easy to get to and fun to visit. Huntsvillians don’t have to drive far to get to their own farmhouse getaway where they can enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and a delicious glass of Front Porch Special.
Interested in attending a preview? The next event is happening this Friday, December 11, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be plenty of music, fire pits, and the chance to shop some holiday items from Piper & Leaf. You can RSVP to the preview HERE.
Eric St. John, CCIM, and Zac Buckley of Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate helped them to secure the future production facility earlier this year. As users, Piper & Leaf had a lot of unique needs to make the space workable for their vision.
“The space needed to offer flexibility and room to grow their already thriving business,” said Eric. “It’s a destination location that will not only help them be more productive, but also provide customers with a place to hang out, have fun, and explore the art of tea making.”
“Ideally, it needed to have plenty of warehouse space for production, storage, high ceilings, garage doors for deliveries, and still be adaptable to a retail shop,” said Zac. “It’s been great working with the Piper & Leaf team and we wish them the best with their new location.”
Piper & Leaf is thrilled to greet new friends at the preview events and welcome the community to its grand opening next year.
“We have wanted a facility like this since the beginning,” said Caleb. “To finally have it is a dream, and we plan to make the most of it. We can’t wait for the weather to get warmer and our doors to officially open next summer.”
For more information on Piper & Leaf, visit www.piperandleaf.com.
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