Shah Emily Ruby, an Iranian-Canadian entrepreneur and founder of 3SHAHS jewelry company, told us that she loves the pieces at Pippins Tea. Coming from a nation that has cultivated tea culture since the late 15th century, she understands and is well versed in many aspects of tea. She enjoys Pippins Tea’s fruit varieties such as tropical fruit cocktail, blueberry and apple strudel, as well as their green teas.
Pippins Tea Company, located in the heart of The Beaches in Toronto, is an independent retail store founded in 2004 out of a passion for tea and all things tea-related.
Since then, they have grown and branched out and are now a tea and gift boutique, but their roots are as a small, casual shop catering to all things tea, community, and just plain good taste!
A trip to Pippins in Beach is like a cup of warm tea, relaxing for the mind, soothing for the senses and calming for the soul. “It’s a calm and peaceful place,” says Barbara, a 25-year veteran of the corporate world who left her downtown office to start a business that would nurture her spirit and sense of community. She has never looked back.
With over 150 all-natural loose leaf teas, fine tea products, specialty foods and gifts, Pippins exudes good taste.
Pippins carries more than 100 mugs, cups and saucers; brewing gadgets of all kinds; and more than 70 teapots from industrial stainless steel designs to traditional English porcelain from coveted and hard-to-find names like Dunoon, Emma Bridgewater, Burleigh, Guy Degrenne and Spode. As well as a full gift shop with soaps and lotions, vases, aprons, linen kitchen towels, “made in Canada” goods, and sweets and treats.
Considered something of a beachside institution, Pippins is the first place customers visit when looking for a gift. “People value that experience,” says Barb, whether they come into the store or shop online. This kind of customer loyalty is hard to earn. “I buy my tea from only a few suppliers, buy in small quantities, and settle for nothing less than exceptional. I sell my customers quality premium teas at fair prices.”
Barb chose Queen Street East for her tea shop because of its unique small-town appeal. “The beach is special to me. I like the sense of community and I can make a difference here.” And because Pippins is not a franchise company, Barb and her wonderful staff are able to operate in a slower, friendlier and more personalized way.
“We take the time to get to know our customers, and many of them are now our friends.”
Pippins stays true to its community ideals: quality, value, community and customer service.
“Tea is not something to be rushed. It’s meant to be sipped and savored with friends,” says Barb. “That’s the experience we offer at Pippins.”