Nova Scotia

New Hope Blooms partnership makes for endless PossibiliTEAS

Hope Blooms announced a new social enterprise Friday that's focused on tea. The Tea Girls launched their PossibiliTEAS retail lineat the Atlantic Superstore's location on Joseph Howe Drive in Halifax.

Halifax social enterprise's latest venture is a line of teas being sold at some Atlantic Superstores

Hope Blooms' The Tea Girls celebrate their retail launch on Friday at a Halifax Atlantic Superstore location. (Robert Short/CBC)

Hope Blooms announced a new social enterprise Friday that's focused on tea.

The Tea Girls launched their PossibiliTEAS retail line at the Atlantic Superstore's location on Joseph Howe Drive in Halifax. The teas have names such as Happy Hibiscus and Magic Matcha.

The non-profit group and grocery store chain first partnered to distribute salad dressings made from Hope Blooms' community garden.

"I was very excited. I'm very proud of myself. I told myself I could do this and I did," said London Goree, one of The Tea Girls.

The others are Bianca Tynes, Akiyrah Stevenson, Jasayah Stephenson and Arionne Farmer-Dixon.

Some of the tea products have names such as Happy Hibiscus and Magic Matcha. (Marie Adsett/CBC)

Jessie Jollymore is the founder of Hope Blooms. Her daughter, Natasha Jollymore, helps the young people with marketing, sourcing products and uses her chef skills for recipe development.

"Just giving the youth the opportunity to continue moving forward and see the change in their own community is so empowering for them, for us, for the whole community, said Natasha Jollymore.

Proceeds from the tea sales by Hope Blooms will be invested in scholarships and into expanding the food gardens to support their food insecurity programs.

The young entrepreneurs also earn a paycheque for their work, which Jollymore said is an important life lesson.

"What they put into it, they get out of it and it teaches them when they're doing it that hard work pays off," she said.

Loblaw Atlantic's Mark Boudreau, director of corporate affairs, said today's announcement is part of a "deep-rooted partnership."

Natasha Jollymore, left, helps The Tea Girls with marketing, sourcing products and with recipe development. (Robert Short/CBC)

"We work directly with the kids on mentoring, helping out with the garden, providing merchandising, advice to them, so we work with them on a regular basis," he said. "This isn't just a transaction, but a deep-rooted partnership."

Premier Tim Houston joined the young entrepreneurs for today's launch, celebrating their success as business owners and positive ambassadors for Nova Scotia.

Friday's event also celebrated Hope Blooms' success from selling salad dressing, bottles of which are now stocked at 24 Superstore locations across Nova Scotia.

Almost $100,000 has been earned for Hope Blooms' scholarship fund to date, which has helped send 20 kids to university.

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