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Coleraine’s INFUSE Artisan Tea has been named as one of the UK’s top ‘Small Biz 100’ by Small Business Saturday. INFUSE which is Northern Ireland’s only Tea Bar has been selected as a trail-blazer in the official count-down to Small Business Saturday, which takes place across the UK on 1 December 2018.

The achievements and contribution to the local community of INFUSE Artisan Tea will be celebrated and spotlighted on one the 100 days running-up to Small Business Saturday. This is part of the campaign’s mission to celebrate small business success, and encourage the nation to 'shop local' and support British small businesses.

The 2018 Small Biz 100 are drawn from every corner of the UK and reflect the vibrancy of the UK’s 5.5 million small businesses. Reflecting the latest in innovative start-up trends, from ethical shopping, through to Artificial Intelligence, this year’s Small Biz 100 features a range of unique independent businesses. This year’s cohort joins hundreds of previous Small Biz 100 alumni champions, which have been celebrated by the iconic campaign since its UK launch in 2013.

Director of Small Business Saturday UK, Michelle Ovens said:

“The launch of the Small Biz 100 marks the exciting count-down to Small Business Saturday 2018. We are thrilled to highlight the dynamic, creative and inspiring small businesses from across the country, as part of our campaign to celebrate and champion the success of the UK’s small businesses. The Small Biz 100 showcases the companies at the heart of the UK’s economy, which we need to support now more than ever.”

In its sixth year Small Business Saturday is the UK's most successful small business campaign, which last year saw an estimated £748m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday.

A grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. American Express remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small.

campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter during 2017, reaching over 115 million people globally. The Prime Minister and the Mayor of London were among those publicly supporting the campaign. Over 87% of local councils also supported the campaign.

The #SmallBizSatUK campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter during 2017, reaching over 115 million people globally. The Prime Minister and the Mayor of London were among those publically supporting the campaign. Over 87% of local councils also supported the campaig


Small Business Saturday also benefits from the backing of leading business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses and Enterprise Nation. The campaign is also supported by Amazon, Indeed, Royal Mail, Vistaprint, Xerox, and Square.

Small Business Saturday 2018 is open to all businesses to participate in, and will commence its regional bus tour roadshow across the UK during the autumn, to drum up further support.


Owned by Aine McGuckian and Duncan Davis, Northern Ireland’s first Tea Bar has just turned one.

Aine stated “We are delighted to have been chosen from thousands of other worthy candidates as one of the Small Biz 100 and being able to make the announcement on the first birthday of the Tea Bar has meant a lot to us.

“Duncan and I are hugely passionate about the world of tea, we pride ourselves in sourcing high quality loose leaf teas and brewing the tea leaves with exacting standards, which means specific water temperatures and steep times. We go further than most as we heat all our water to order in cast iron tetsubin pots, this allows us to be exacting in the temperature of water that we pour on the tea leaves, we even pour the tea when it is ready to ensure the tea does not over brew, the difference these systems make to the taste of a cup of tea is amazing.

“We have over 40 teas available in-store, from our own range of Artisan Tea to other Northern Irish tea suppliers like Miss McKeown’s and Suki Tea. At INFUSE we pride ourselves with being innovative within the industry, having created a range of Tea Mocktails and more recently tea infused sorbets. We even do tea infused hot chocolates, which might sound surprising, but they work really well.”

“Being selected as by Small Business Saturday is a huge achievement for us, we have entered into an extremely niche market and have seen the business grow and flourish in the last year so being able to top off our first year of the Tea Bar with this achievement has been wonderful.

Not only have we worked to develop our range of teas we have been proud to launch INFUSE Wellness above the Tea Bar also, where we offer a number of complementary therapies including Deep Tissue Massage and Herbal Medicine as this was a long term goal.”

Aine and Duncan’s journey to launch the Tea Bar began in 2014 when they both took part in a nationwide competition called TestTown run by the Carnegie Trust UK. They entered with Aine’s herbal practice The Little Herbalista, where people would have a chat about health and wellness over great tea and book in for a consultation if they felt it was right for them. The pair won the local heat in Coleraine in June 2014 and went to Cambridge for the Grand Final the following October. They decided to go big on the idea of a Tea Bar in Cambridge, where they put the emphasis on great tea and brewing standards with an underlying theme of health and wellness. The response in Cambridge blew the pair away and cemented their plan to launch a Tea Bar with attached therapy rooms back in Coleraine and they have been working towards that goa ever since.

Aine stated that “the journey of launching the Tea Bar has been long and arduous but I can honestly say that grit and determination have helped us stay true to our goal and I believe it has really paid off for us, so it is great to see this recognised by Small Business Saturday UK. I’m excited to see what the next year will bring.”

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