Nothing is more steeped in tradition for local residents than the good ol’ cuppa tea.
Popular business owner Jacques Cutt-Throat (who has repeatedly stated he is “definitely not a pirate”) has been been bringing wild and wonderful flavours of tea to the ports of Cow Texas for decades. Far longer than anyone can remember why a land-locked town had a sea port built in the first place.
“It’s such an occasion when Jacques comes to town on his ship,” Janet from the local mother’s group explains. “Word starts spreading from house to house, and before you know it, the whole town shuts shop and car convoys to the port to see Jacques.”
But the seas weren’t calm at the port last week, when the old-school tea merchant Jacques and his ship “Me Mate-tea” (repeatedly reminded is definitely not a pirate ship) met a new competitor in town; the superhero startup “Tea-Man”.
Competition is good for the customer, as the business adage goes, as it drives innovation. Try mentioning this to Jacques, however, and you sense he does not necessarily agree. He has made repeated attempts to drive Tea-Man’s head onto the ground. “Tea-Man is a constant pain in my backside. I’d make him walk the plank …. if I had one, that is. But I don’t. Because I’m not a pirate. I’m a tea merchant. I sell tea,” Jacques mentions casually, curiously talking in some sort of code.
Tea-Man’s competitive advantage, as he boasted last week at the port, was his speed. He could fly over oceans far quicker than a sailboat that looked uncannily like a pirate ship. Jacques also made frequent stops with other ships along his journey. “Strictly for trade, not for stealing,” he explained with a laugh, in a recent high seas court.
The express service Tea Man offered was a huge hit for the townsfolk, who loved their tea almost as much as their coffee. When it was discovered that tea had caffeine, just in lower amounts, it didn’t take long for the high school mathematics department to realise they could simply drink more, without overdosing on caffeine.
This discovery skyrocketed demand faster than Jacques could keep up, and the new found variety of flavours and fast turn around, combined with the rugged charm of Tea-Man, made his new venture quite the unicorn startup. But this wasn’t Tea Man’s first venture into business, it must be noted.
There was his teenage rebellious years where he decided to change his name. “Tree Man” was the short lived side hustle that lasted his adolescence. A small town only had so many cats that needed rescuing. Especially when they knew damn well how to get down all by themselves.
Then of course, was the food delivery service, “Tea Time by Tea Man”. The business took fast food to a new stratosphere, when he could deliver food to your home before you had even hung up.
But he was plagued by horrible reviews when the food constantly arrived cold. “It was the wind, it acted like a fan on the food, and I couldn’t stop it,” Tea Man lamented. He has repeatedly declined to comment about his diagnosed case of the munchies.
And lastly, shortly before Tea Man discovered he could fly (it’s more common than you think) he had bought a sailboat to directly compete with Jacques, when he noticed the town’s sudden uptake in tea consumption.
When the wind died down on the open seas, he could generate his own power by blowing wind from his “super” lungs. However he found that he tired sooner, and would be overtaken in the night. He would text customers that “he had tried delivering the tea leaves, but they weren’t home – and to collect at the port the following week.” This strategy was not popular.
Unlike his ship, “Blow Me”, which ended up being a brief hit with the sailors visiting town. It did however require a strong pivot in his initial business plan, and eventually, Tea Man wanted to peruse his love of the
D sea tea instead.
“There’s good money in tea,” he answered to no one particular, “I just needed to find my calling. And I think I’ve found it.” He continued, to fill the silence, “You don’t have to keep tea leaves hot, like fast food. You don’t have to put cats in trees and pretend it wasn’t you.”
The catchphrase for his new venture? When pressed (as every superhero needs a catchphrase) he proudly pronounced: “Delivered so quick, I’ll tea bag you in your sleep!”
Admittedly, it needs work.