At Paper & Tea, you’ll find the finest teas, alongside exquisite ceramic and a select choice of paper goods.
All with the mind-set of making fine tea more accessible to a wider audience.
The founder and CEO of Paper & Tea, Jens de Gruyter, was the godson of a tea trader, so grew up with an affection for drinking tea. Later, he discovered teas all over the world and learned about their history and traditions. From this passion, he decided to couple tea together with paper to start ‘Paper & Tea’ (P & T).
In 2012, P & T launched their first store in Charlottenburg’s, Berlin, Germany. Today they have two physical stores, a well-established webstore and a budding wholesale division. Across both the wholesale and retail side of the business, P & T have 50 staff members. We got a chance to speak to Daniel Rios, Technical and Operations Specialist, who told us more about the P & T story.
“P & T is a specialty tea company, specializing in high-end quality tea. It’s not just about great tea, it’s about educating people about the different ways tea can be served and enlightening them to new kinds of tea. The company also sells tea accessories; ceramics and teacups some of which are exclusive to P & T. We also sell paper, very select gift cards, greeting cards and notebooks, all of which are really beautifully curated by Jens himself.”
P & T was Brightpearl’s first German customer; as early adopters, they started their journey with the software in place from the beginning. Daniel’s predecessor foresaw having a system which could track multiple areas of the business in one place would be beneficial.
The first store in the well-established Charlottenburg district, which P & T have named the ‘Concept Store’ is felt to be more traditional. Recently, they’ve opened a second store in the district of Mitte, Berlin which has a more vibrant and youthful spirit.
“We have three stores; two stores in Berlin and we sell through our website as well as attending lots of trade shows and events. The wholesale side of the business is doing really well and growing quickly. There are two sides to the wholesale business; ‘merchandising’ which is other retailers who resell P & T, then there is the ‘hospitality’ segment which is more like hotels and restaurants. Keeping track of all these different channels is important to growing the business.”
- Managing multiple sales channels
- Keeping track of company data
- Managing inventory across two stores and a central warehouse
“Our business relies on Brightpearl, it forms a vital part of our day-to-day operations. I think almost every employee uses the software and has a staff login. It’s used so much that we have to remind employees to log out when they’re done.”
The P & T website is built on Magento and the pre-built integration Brightpearl has with Magento is a key feature for their business. “The Magento Brightpearl integration is brilliant. Tracking stock levels is really important for us as we sell different quantities across so many different channels – we never want to let customers down by being out of stock – Brightpearl makes sure we don’t.”
Daniel continues: “Brightpearl has had a very positive influence on the business. The fact that the POS is integrated with the back office and everything is all in one place, allows us to oversee how the business is doing day-to-day. I can’t tell you how essential it is, we built the business with Brightpearl as a core element.”
P & T’s biggest channels are their stores but the wholesale side of the business is taking off. They plan to continue making fine tea more accessible and rewarding to a much wider audience all across the world.
Daniel concluded by saying: “We’d like to open more stores in Germany and even expand internationally, who knows – Paris, New York, London. We are definitely a company in growth mode and I can see the company tripling in size over the next five years.”