Mona Webb’s ‘tea’ change has served up pots of success.
First published northsider magazine Autumn 2019. Northside Produce Market is currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Mona's teas are available here
There’s nothing better than a warming pot of tea in winter. As Northside Produce Market’s resident ‘tea lady’, Mona Webb is an expert in crafting the perfect cuppa. But her beautiful hand-blended herbal brews aren’t your average infusions. Using certified organic herbs grown in Australia, Mona’s Neo teas are blended according to ancient Indian Ayurvedic recipes, helping to support the body’s natural processes from the inside, out.
“When I was growing up, my mum used to make teas to help different parts of the body,” Mona remembers. As well as a complexion tea, to help soothe skin breakouts, there was memory tea for exam time and mint tea for upset tummies, among others.
“It really left a mark on me,” Mona says. “Although I never thought I’d set up a tea company!”
In fact, Mona’s working life started out a world away from her current career.
“I was a mechanical engineer working in a multi-national corporation’s chemicals, plastics and explosives divisions,” she says.
“I never thought I’d set up a tea company!”
Studying for an MBA gave her the opportunity to explore her love of tea.
“I had to complete a project where I launched a product,” Mona remembers. “I thought wow! Why don’t I look at tea and skincare?”
Her research led to the creation of Neo, which means new, teas. And while her peers were signing up for mortgages, Mona used her savings to launch her company for real.
“I was hand blending teas myself in the kitchen,” she remembers. “Suddenly I was in charge of my destiny and it was daunting!”
But 18 years on, Mona’s ‘tea’ change has more than taken off. She now has a tea factory in Roseville and her range contains 19 teas and counting - with blends to help support memory, complexion and digestion, among many others.
There are now 19 hand-blended varieties of Neo Teas and Mona’s always adding to the range.
“The Bewitching Butterfly tea is very popular at the moment,” Mona says. “It changes colour from blue to purple when you add lemon. And the Coconut Truffle tea is so warming and stops sugar cravings. But it’s also great chilled with a splash of rum!”
Mona has been bringing her blends to the Northside Produce Market for the past 15 years. “Markets are great,” she says. “They’re a good way to get brand awareness out there. You’re at the coalface with your customers and it’s so valuable to get their feedback, suggestions and ideas.” So when you’re at the market next, make time for tea and say hi to Mona!
For more information and to order, head to neoaustralia.com.au