Meet the entrepreneur who has launched a 'healthy' tea brand in Yorkshire

When Dipti Arora first started brewing her own spiced teas at home to help her cope during the covid-19 pandemic, little did she know that it would develop into a whole new career.

The former media assistant had left her job and spent a month studying to become an ayurvedic therapist – based on the ancient Indian system of holistic medicine – during a visit to India just before England’s first national lockdown in 2020.

When she returned to her home in Harrogate, she started experimenting with spices in her kitchen and discovered the positive effects they could have on the body.

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"I just did the ayurvedic course for myself with the intention of finding another job in advertising or public relations when I came home,” Ms Arora, 26, said. “Three days after I got back, we went into lockdown and I realised this was the worst time to be looking for a job.

Dipti Arora, founder of Thankfully Healthy Tea in HarrogateDipti Arora, founder of Thankfully Healthy Tea in Harrogate
Dipti Arora, founder of Thankfully Healthy Tea in Harrogate

"Instead, I started taking care of myself by practising yoga regularly. I started using spices to brew teas, studying the impacts of certain spices and flowers on the body.”

Ms Arora and her husband started noticing the effects the tea blends were having on themselves. She had immunity issues and he was struggling with acid reflux. “We noticed a difference in our energy levels, we started drinking the teas more regularly and we were feeling better and better,” she said.

She also started sending the tea blends to friends and family.

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"I began making small blends for specific reasons like hayfever, congestion and digestion. As more people said the teas were working for them, it motivated me to do more and more,” she said.

Ms Arora officially launched her ayurvedic herbal tea brand Thankfully Healthy at the beginning of 2022 with six different tea blends. The teas are made from spices sourced from India. They are vegan and caffeine-free. The packaging is recyclable and the tea bags are free from plastic.

"I wanted to do all of that but also make the tea affordable because as a consumer I’m not going to walk into a shop and expect to pay £10 for a box of herbal tea,” she said.

It took her two years of dedication and hard work, reaching out to thousands of local and international tea packers and suppliers to source environmentally friendly materials.

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“We wanted everything to be at least industry compostable and recyclable and we eventually got there,” Ms Arora said.

In the first year, Ms Arora was making the tea blends and packing the tea bags into boxes at home.

She now buys the spice blends from India and they are put into tea bags and packed by a tea packing company in Kent.

A three-day winter market at Harewood House last November proved to be a turning point. Armed with 500-600 boxes of tea, Ms Arora completely sold out. “It was such an eye-opening experience,” she said.

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“After that we had to figure out how to make more. We’ve tripled our stock for this year.”

Last year, Thankfully Healthy sold 1,200 – 1,300 boxes of tea. At the start of 2023 it produced 4,000 boxes, surpassing 2022’s total sales in the first six months.

The teas are now stocked in a range of tea rooms, farm shops and food festivals across Yorkshire as well as on the Thankfully Healthy website and Etsy store.

"I want to grow and keep the personal touch so people can feel that this is a product that is different to everything else out there,” Ms Arora said.