Lynyrd Skynyrd and an epiphany in a hospital waiting room

“Freebird is a Loose Leaf Tea company launched in 2016 by myself Karen Alexander, Owen Crane and Denise Lauaki. We all had a pretty bad impression of tea until we realised we were just drinking ‘bad’ tea – so we made it our mission to source the best tea in the world and blend amazing flavours together.

Our brand is current and fresh which we hope injects new life into the age old practice of brewing tea but is still absolutely uncompromising on quality and taste.

The name ‘Freebird’ is really attributed to one of my business partners.

We all totally believe in being free – living free – not held back by anything but living as full a life as we can.

Unfortunately that is not always the case for people. Life is tough. Some people are trapped in circumstances that cage them, whether that’s financial, relational, poor choices made in the past or they find themselves in a place so horrific it’s hard to even put into words.

So right from the beginning we decided that we wanted to help ‘free’ those people by donating profits from the business to charities. Plus, my business partner also likes the Lynyrd Skynyrd Song, ‘Freebird’, and sang it relentlessly for the first few weeks!

“Our world is beautiful, as are the people who live in it, so as a company it is really important that our tea is ethically sourced. All our tea is sourced from suppliers who are part of the Ethical Tea Partnership. We want to ensure that the people who are right at the beginning of the supply chain are looked after and treated well. There is no point of us aiming to help ‘free’ people by supporting charities etc if we don’t care about the ones who have carefully picked and dried our leaves, so we are very grateful that we can work alongside the Ethical Tea partnership”.

Our Proudest moment so far

“Receiving an email from the executive chef at The Merchant the day after our tasting to say they’d held a number of International tea tastings over the previous few weeks but our quality of blends surpassed them all! That felt really good. We knew we had a great product, but to hear that other people recognised the quality made all the hard work worthwhile.

We are also proud of being finalists in The Institute of Hospitality 2018 Awards for Supplier of the Year which is just amazing! To be such a young company it’s stunning that we were even nominated let alone shortlisted as finalists. It’s such an honour, and we’re so grateful to our customers who have supported us”.

Karen Alexander