A speciality tea manufacturer, HotTea Mama, is the latest business to benefit from funding delivered by SWIG Finance.

The business, based in Long Hanborough on the edge of the Cotswolds, received a £40,000 cash injection backed by British Business Bank’s Recovery Loan Scheme to help them scale up ahead of launching new retail channels with one of the UKs largest retailers.

HotTea Mama produces a range of fine teas using natural ingredients. These teas, which are produced and packaged in the UK, are designed to support the wellbeing of women at different stages of their reproductive lives.

With speciality teas combatting symptoms ranging from PMS and pregnancy all the way through to post-menopause, HotTea Mama has a tea for all of the ‘joys’ of womanhood.

The business was founded by Kate Achilles and Bethan Thomas in 2017, after both women had experienced the ups and downs of pregnancy and motherhood.

Kate, who has a degree in International Business and a background in marketing, has had two children in a short space of time so she knows all too well how reproductive events can affect wellbeing.

Notably, Bethan was the first non-Chinese student to obtain a degree in Tea Science from the University of Agriculture and Forestry in Fujian. Bethan continued to carve a career in tea with experience in buying and blending tea which spans some 15 years.

The business, which is UK-based but also has as strong presence in Australia, has recently launched into retail and has some exciting contracts on the horizon.

The duo had initially applied with their bank for funding but after receiving no response they decided to try other avenues and were introduced to SWIG Finance via commercial broker Jerry Riches of ACF Direct.

SWIG Finance Senior Business Manager, Nicola Mapp, supported the application and was able to provide hands-on assistance to help prepare their case.

The business currently employs 5 staff members with 4 employed in the UK, and co-founder Kate is based in Australia. As the business expands they will be looking to recruit for 2 more positions.

For now, the business is focusing on opening new retail channels but international expansion is firmly on their radar, following their success in the Australian markets.

Business owner Bethan Thomas said “HotTea Mama has gone through a period of big growth over the last few years. So that we can continue to focus our efforts on retail and wholesale channels, we knew that we would need to increase our stock holding to keep up with demand. This would not have been possible for us to do without external funding”.

Bethan continued “I was recommended to approach SWIG Finance and I have to say that I was glad I did. The application process was very efficient and our business manager, Nicola, was very responsive and made sure that any feedback was specific which helped us progress the application very quickly”.

SWIG’s Nicola commented “Bethan and Kate are experts in their field and have already achieved so much with their business. The proof is in the sales – they are already a top seller in various outlets, including Amazon Prime. We were pleased to be able to support their journey and ensure that they can continue to promote health and wellbeing for women across the globe”.

About SWIG Finance

SWIG Finance, the South West’s leading CDFI, was established more than 30 years ago to support businesses who are unable to secure funding from mainstream lenders. By empowering underserved businesses in the region to overcome their financial barriers, SWIG Finance is working to create a balanced financial eco-system.

We are passionate about bringing social and economic benefits to people and places. We do this by providing support and finance to Start Ups and growing SMEs that can create and secure employment opportunities.

As the South West’s leading delivery partner for Start Up Loans UK, we can provide Start Up Loans from £500 – £25,000. For more information visit https://www.swigfinance.co.uk/start-up-loans/

We also have business loans from £25,001 to £250,000 available to South West SMEs who cannot access sufficient funding from their bank https://www.swigfinance.co.uk/business-loans/

If you would like to have an informal discussion about your funding requirements, get in touch with our friendly and professional team to find out how we can help: info@swigfinance.co.uk / 01872 227 930

Legal Notice: The Recovery Loan Scheme is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA. Visit https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/finance-hub/recovery-loan-scheme/