NOW ChangeMaker Diaries

Somerset, UK
TEALS Somerset

In our twenties, my wife Ash and I spent a year cycling 12,500km through Africa. Rustic ‘farm stalls’ offered our exhausted bodies respite along the way. On Saturday mornings, we sipped freshly pressed apple juice against a backdrop of mountains and orchards with the smell of warm bread drifting over fruit crates packed with colour. 
 
The trip drew our attention to the importance of small cottage industries in Africa, which are lifelines for farmers and provide support for local communities.   
 
Fast forward a couple of decades, and with a combined 40 years of experience in management roles in hospitality, marketing and retail, we set about recreating this experience in the UK on a bigger scale. 
 
Our dream was to build an environmentally-sound, eco-destination farm store, which would support and celebrate the wonderful community of producers and craftspeople in Somerset and beyond. We also wanted to connect visitors to the spirit of the area.  
 
Aimed at both journey-makers and the local community, TEALS is more than a traditional stop-off; it’s a destination in itself. Our vision is for TEALS to be a place you factor into your journey, an experience that is vibrant, colourful, and imaginative.  
 
Our timing though, was pretty bad. We broke ground in January shortly before the pandemic hit, which meant that almost the entire build was completed during or between lockdowns. This allowed us to make nimble adaptations, though, to enable better social distancing. A spacious internal layout includes a one-way system for shoppers and a mezzanine level was created for diners.  
 
Both Ash and I are steadfast in our commitment to sustainability. All products sold at TEALS are responsibly sourced with sustainability in mind, our packaging is almost fully recyclable, and we work with carefully chosen farmers and suppliers with strong ethics who care for the planet. Furthermore, the TEALS business model is specifically designed to minimise food waste, our team is careful to use the entirety of ingredients, compost and make any food coming to its natural end available to local food banks. 
 
When we introduce e-charging next spring, TEALS will be the first single use, plastic free, fuel-free, electric car charging point on the A303.  
 
Working with local architects, we ensured that the design and implementation of TEALS was also in line with our commitment to sustainability. We chose high recyclable materials which also look good in the context of their environment; steel and reclaimed timber were used due to their greener production credentials and where possible, materials were salvaged and repurposed.  
 
During the building of TEALS, wildlife corridors were preserved, soil was reused from foundations to create new habitats; hundreds of trees were planted and metres of meadow were sewn.  
 
Ash and I ultimately wish to positively impact the environment and make a wider contribution to the local community and producers. We feel a real responsibility here to open a window to the region, be ambassadors for brilliant producers, operate responsibly and look after our guests like they were friends of friends.  
 
TEALS is our canvas on which to promote amazing things created by brilliant people we love to represent. If we don’t believe a product will add colour to our customers’ lives, why do it? 

Somerset, UK

About the Traveller

Nick Sinfield

Nick Sinfield Co-Founder of TEALS

I LOVE COLOUR, FOOD AND JOURNEYS IN EQUAL MEASURE, THEY’RE ALL GREAT FOR THE SOUL.

Living Positively

LAUGH

We like to think the Leylines on our property brings its visitors joy,

LEARN

Building and launching a business in the middle of a pandemic is tough but everyone has a difficult two years so ALWAYS be kind.

LOOK

The orchard is an incredibly peaceful space, we love the way it changes with the seasons and when you spend time under the boughs of the trees you would never know you were a few hundred yards from the A303!

LOVE

We have found the most amazing selection of local suppliers to stock the shelves in the store. They change seasonally and we love the interest and vibrancy they bring. When you visit us you will always find something that you have never seen or tasted before.

Share Your Travel Experiences Here

View more Diaries

NOW Helpful Tips Before, During and After Your Trip

April 2021

22 Smart Tips for Low Waste Travel

Ditch wasteful attitudes and behaviors

November 2019

How to Give the Right Way When You Travel

Better giving.

May 2019

NOW’s Top 25 Tips on Travelling Sustainably this Summer

Make your holiday choices count

Machu Picchu Peru

March 2019

10 Top Tips for Travellers Overwhelmed By Climate Change

The UN has warned that we have less than 11 years to limit our climate change catastrophe. Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s 10 easy things travellers can do.

January 2019

Top Tips for Travellers Who Care About Plastics

Guardian writer Lucy Siegle shares 8Rs to act on

Travellers

August 2018

The NOW Guide to Travelling Light

Lighten the load on your next trip

How to declutter travel experience

August 2018

How to Declutter Your Travel Experience

How to make the most of your time away

The NOW guide to slow travel

April 2018

The NOW Guide to Slow Travel

A brilliant way to travel sustainably

The NOW guide to buying local when we travel

March 2018

The NOW Guide to Buying Local When We Travel

Buying local can help people and the planet

Travellers - Sustainable Suitcase

March 2018

How to Pack a Sustainable Suitcase

Sustainable fashion ideas for travellers

Being mindful of technology

October 2017

Being Mindful of Technology

How to use it without losing your wellbeing

Questions to ask a hotel before booking

August 2017

10 Tough Questions to Ask Hotels

Check a hotel’s conscience before you book

5 ways we might travel sustainably in the near future

July 2017

Not Just for James Bond

5 greener modes of transport

Palau

July 2017

These Feet are Made for Walking

The most sustainable way to travel

8 ways to make your trip count

June 2017

8 Ways to Make Your Trip Count

How eco travellers can make the most impact

Top