HUDDLE: Saint John-based Millennia TEA Wins ‘Academy Awards of Food and Beverage’

HUDDLE: Saint John-based Millennia TEA Wins ‘Academy Awards of Food and Beverage’

By Jessica Saulnier, Huddle.

FREDERICTON - Tracy Bell, the CEO and Co-Founder of Millennia TEA, said it was a special moment hearing her company's name called as she sat in the same room surrounded by some of the biggest consumer brands in the country.

The Saint John-based fresh to frozen tea leaf company received the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Award for “Best New Product in the Country” in the OTC healthcare category, presented by the Retail Council of Canada.

“The Grand Prix Awards are sort of like the Academy Awards of food and beverage and grocery retail in Canada,” said Bell in an interview.

Millennia TEA’s application was reviewed by a panel of 29 judges. Out of the 121 applicants, only 26 finalists were called to attend the award ceremony in Toronto.

“To come in as an early-stage company with a category [on] creating innovation and to be named new best product in the country in our category means so much to us,” said Bell. “These kinds of honours lend creditability to what we’re building and the impact that we want to have in the world.”

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Millennia TEA works with farmers in the mountains in central Sri Lanka that pick fresh, organic tea leaves. Tea bought in the coffee and tea aisles in grocery stores in dried and cooked so it lasts longer on the shelfs, whereas Millennia Tea washes and flash freezes the leaves. By doing this, the fresh tea leaves can be used as a superfood booster for smoothies and other recipes.

Bell said fresh tea leaves are health-promoting and have disease-preventing properties.

The idea to start the company came after there was a health scare in Bell’s family and tea kept coming up in conversation for its effectiveness at fighting through radical damage and protecting cells from damaging disease. After doing some research, she learned there’s an antioxidant called EGCG, which is highest in fresh tea leaves.

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Read the article here.