TJC’s new neighboring business, HTeaO, has officially opened for business. The grand opening for HTeaO was Sept. 24 with immediate success.
With the new iced tea franchise within close range of the campus, HTeaO attracts many students and locals throughout the day.
Owner and Operator Tonya Clark said, “I think the school brings a lot to us. Students come over between classes, I mean, it’s walking distance. I think this street is a great area to be. We’re getting a lot of support from the college and from local businesses. The neighborhoods here are just excited for something new.”
Business has proved HTeaO to be an anomaly. Clark believes this is a direct effect of the campus being close by.
“Usually the drive-thru is busier than the in-store traffic, but right now our in-store traffic is more than our drive-thru, and I attribute that to being within walking distance of TJC,” Clark said.
Store hours for May-Aug. are 7 a.m.-9:05 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-9:05 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-9:05 p.m. Sunday. Closing time for the remaining months is 8:05 p.m. Happy hour lasts from 2-4 p.m. daily, raking in lots of customers during this time for deals.
“Happy hour is pretty poppin’ here,” Clark said. “Cups are half price from the small, medium, large, to the huge. The deal that we have going on right now is our grand opening special, which is $2.99 per gallon.”
So what makes HTeaO different from any store-bought tea? The secret is in the process of how the teas are made.
“So they’re brewed fresh in house every day. It’s just fresh brewed tea, and the flavors are brewed in the tea. — here in house, fresh everyday with no preservatives and no added anything,” Clark said.
With 26 different flavors to choose from, a select few teas such as blueberry, blueberry green, coconut, and Georgia peach have already gained popularity from consumers.
Mini containers of citrus fruit for tea add-ins are available, for free, as well as cups of other fruit options being 75 cents. Snacks and fruit cups are also available for purchase as an on-the-go refreshment.
HTeaO offers an app that provides consumers with an opportunity to order ahead and earn rewards through points or “drips.”
“It’s really easy to download. You get a free large tea just for downloading the app and then you just hit earn or redeem and we record them in drips. For every dollar spent you get two drips,” Clark said.
To receive these drips, one is to scan the barcode at the bottom of the given receipt so the app can record how much was spent for the calculation of points.
Some TJC students express their positive feedback toward the store’s warm ambience.
“The atmosphere was very welcoming,” said Freshman Khiara Smith. “I was greeted with a smile and everyone working seemed so nice. It’s a nice environment.”
HTeaO says their goal is to give back to the community, allowing all first responders in uniform to drink for free.
“We try to give back to the community,” Clark said. “If you’re having a bad day, you come in and you see a smiling face. And it’s kind of like you’re walking into a party. We’re having a party in here. And even if it’s just a cup of tea, I mean it’s not just a cup of tea, just coming in and having a breath of fresh air and little while in your day.”