Cornwall LivingAutumn 2021
A proper brew
We speak to Gary Kenna on all things manufacturing, sustainability and a pursuit of a way to do things differently.
As Director of Production at Cornish Tea, Gary Kenna is at the very heart of the tea that has proved to be a favourite for many all over the country, and is able to give us a behind-the-scenes insight into this popular brand.
With an extensive background at the top of the UK’s tea industry, including time spent working at Brooke Bond Tea, Gary had been in touch with Cornish Tea founder Duncan about setting up a factory in Cornwall to keep up with the incredible growth rate of the business. “As the machines were being installed and commissioned, and as the first teabags started coming off the production line,” he says, “I realised I wanted to be a part of the Cornish Tea dream. So I offered – begged! – to run the Production facility here.” The rest, as they say, is history, and since moving to Cornwall, Gary loves everything about his role at the Cornish Tea HQ, especially the team. “From day one, I was treated like one of the family. My role was to make some significant changes to the business and how it operated, and without exception, the support from everybody here has been amazing.”
Talking more broadly about the company as a whole and there are some key factors that, Gary believes, help set Cornish Tea & Coffee apart. “Locally, it has to be that we still personally deliver to clients using our own dedicated fleet. This was the tradition many years ago, and it’s great to see the personal touch from the business with customers – something which, sadly, other tea companies have abandoned in favour of couriers and pallet networks. Nationally,” he continues, “I think it appeals because it’s Cornwall. Who doesn’t love Cornwall? And who doesn’t love tea? They’re a perfect fit!”
Not only does the tea taste great, there’s something special about Cornish Tea’s manufacturing process: “All the teas are sourced specifically to our exact standards through our approved tea suppliers in the UK, whether it’s Smugglers Brew or our Organic Fusion range,” says Gary. The fact that Cornish Tea is actually blended, manufactured and distributed from Cornwall tells a story, and, as Gary puts it: “It ensures that Cornish Tea does not become a generic brand, but remains one with an identity.”
Did you know?
Cornish Tea are one of the first tea companies to stop using materials with plastic, making their factory processes 100% plastic free!