By: Keletso Mkhwanazi
Zanda Isaacs, a KwaZulu-Natal-born businesswoman, has converted her childhood love of tea into a thriving business with a selection of antioxidant-rich teas. “My mother never believed in using modern medicine to treat our colds and coughs when I was growing up,” she told Vutivi News. “Instead, mom would always make us a cup of tea. Every illness you can think of had its own blend, however, these were not my cup of tea, so I started creating my own.”
Under the supervision of her mother, Isaacs launched Ting Tang Tea, a line of handcrafted blends.
They are produced from herbs and spices that have been precisely mixed to help cleanse the body and encourage weight loss. The various blends contain no chemicals or preservatives and are prepared from the finest, premium, and natural ingredients. Well-being is encouraged with a variety of products such as teas, lattes, tonics, and, soon, tea capsules.
“One of my greatest challenges has always been finding suppliers who cater to smaller businesses like mine,” Isaacs said. “Minimum order quantities for customers in the food and packaging market are extremely high, making it extremely difficult for a new entrepreneur to get off the ground and offer competitive pricing to their customers. I identified a gap in the industry and saw an opportunity. “With no minimum order quantity, small businesses had no reasonable source from which to purchase, fill, and package herbal products. My company now happily provides teabag filling and packaging services to small enterprises, assisting in the creation of a more sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Isaacs initially ran the business on her own in 2019. Now she has four employees and plans on hiring more people in the future. “My cash flow management has improved, and we are now able to fulfill more of our orders,” she explained. “By the end of the year, we hope to have tripled our turnover, and in the next three years, I see Ting Tang Tea serving different markets all over the world while remaining true to our South African roots.”
Isaacs envisions her company becoming a one-stop shop for all things tea, from herbal and fruity teas to lattes, iced teas, bubble teas, and accessories. “In the near future, I’d also like to open a tea café where patrons can come to unwind and enjoy a freshly brewed cup of tea.” Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to start with a concept and work their way up. “The path isn’t always clear, the money isn’t always available, and problems aren’t always solved. However, if you want to progress, you can’t stand still because the path becomes clearer with each additional step,” said Isaacs.