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Kitchen Tips

Meet Timmy Smith: the creative force behind a Waiheke Island jewellery and organic tea store

Overlooking idyllic Oneroa Bay on Waiheke Island, Timmy Smith is a space for people to come together over a cuppa and peruse creative works. Discover the story behind this creative store owner's brews.

By Fiona Ralph
Waiheke resident Timmy Smith has combined two of her passions in one eponymous space. As well as creating bespoke and ready-to-wear pieces of jewellery, Timmy offers tea experiences, organic herbal blends and a range of sugar-free, sparkling teas made with certified organic botanicals.

Q: How did your business start?

I first started creating jewellery 17 years ago after the birth of my second daughter. My first brand was Pacific Grace. Around 2010 I decided to focus on memory-evoking works [such as discretion pendants, which can hold sand, a lock of hair or ashes] and named the business after myself.
In 2016 we opened our first retail space in Oneroa on Waiheke Island and I began offering tea blending and tastings of both my hot and sparkling teas. I also launched my own tea blends under Timmy Smith Teas. After a year we were able to move to a larger space on the main street of Oneroa, where I launched Pause for Tea, a range of ready-to-drink sparkling teas.
The tranquil Timmy Smith space on Waiheke Island looks out over beautiful Oneroa Bay.

Q: How did things evolve from jewellery to tea?

The evolution of jewellery to tea to a ready-to-drink offering may not seem a logical one but for me the centre point of all these elements was to offer ways to serve people. The jewellery enables connection to memories and moments; tea is an age-old ritual and a way of bringing people and purpose together; and Pause for Tea highlights occasions and time spent with loved ones.

Q: Why did you start working with tea?

I have always had a love for organic herbals and have been playing with blends and their applications for the past 30 years. The introduction of teas to Timmy Smith happened when I opened my first store. It was a way of encouraging people to "remove their rush", and take stock of their day and what is happening around them. I love that tea has the ability to connect people and give respite from their busy lives.

Q: How did Pause for Tea originate?

The concept of a sparkling herbal tea was born nearly 20 years ago when I was looking to create healthy fizzy drinks for my kids. For me, it was important to develop a sugar- and sweetener-free beverage that would appeal to children and adults alike and could be shared at any occasion. My hubby Ross Barker has been a keen brewer of beer since we met and we realised we could combine our two loves to create a unique product.

Q: Do you plan to stock Pause for Tea in other parts of the country?

We wanted Waiheke to be firmly seen as the home of Pause for Tea. We have been so warmly received on the island with demand coming near daily to ferry our product to the mainland. The introduction of my amazing business partner and director of sales, Amy Neilson, with her background in sales and the food industry, has enabled us to lay down pathways to launching off the island. We're in the throws of formulating our launch into Auckland (and beyond).
Timmy's Spearmint and Oolong sparkling tea blend is perfect to sip when you need that little extra focus and clarity of thought.

Q: Do you think herbal tea is growing in popularity as people focus more on wellness and aim to cut back on alcohol and caffeine?

A hundred percent. When I first created the sugar-free sparkling tea, the market was not ready to receive it. We were still in the wave of "go, go, go, rush, rush, rush". Such offerings were seen as only for those with alternative lifestyles. Fast-forward 20 years and we now understand fully the importance of pausing or slowing down, and choosing healthy options for our bodies and minds.

Q: How do you manage the different aspects of your business?

It can be tricky at times but I work hard to keep focus on why I do what I do. I am here to serve others, to give them experiences and items that heighten their memories and moments, all the while honouring our environment for generations to come. The tea, jewellery and now the sparkling tea all enable this to occur – just in different ways.
143 Ocean View Road, Oneroa Village, Waiheke Island
Open every day 10am - 5pm and by appointment
pausefortea.nz | timmysmith.co.nz

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