texas strongWow!

By the Grace of Tea has been chosen to compete in the Texas Rural Challenge in Waco on June 20th. By the Grace of Tea is one of only 8 small businesses chosen from a group nominated by the 42 Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) from across the state.

Texas Rural Challenge is a business competition and conference promoting sustainable rural livelihood.

I will have (only) 5 minutes to “pitch” my fabulous tea business!

While we are not “rural” based, we think we’ll score well in the remaining six criteria: Innovation, Environmental impact, Relevance to rural, Market validation, Social good, Presentation, Performance. Our values and very Mission Statement speaks to many of these issues:

“At By The Grace of Tea, we are dedicated to finding the highest quality and socially responsible sources for our products. Fair trade is a social movement to help producers in developing countries create healthier trading conditions while promoting sustainability. The majority of our teas are organic, and as many as possible are fair trade.

Our Mission: to make a difference one cup at a time by encouraging connection through conversation. We are a woman-owned, socially conscious enterprise dedicated to sustainability and social responsibility.”

And while our teas are not able to be grown here in the US, the model for small tea growers across the world is translatable to the small, sustainable, local, family-run model of agriculture that is experiencing a re-birth here in the US after having been lost for the past 40 years..

The Texas Rural Challenge is the largest state-wide conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities facing rural Texas. Hosted by the Office of the Governor, UTSA’s Institute for Economic Development-SBDC Rural Business Program, Texas Economic Development Council, Texas Department of Agriculture, USDA-Rural Development, Texas Association of Regional Councils the conference features engaging and accomplished leaders in business and government, and a large number of state and federal agencies along with private sector partners host and participate in this event.