Tracey Bovingdon, the founder of the UK’s first ever high street tea chain, is currently expanding to open outlets across the UK.

The Tea Monkey stores have gone from strength to strength and last month won the Best Tea Experience at the Grab and Go Awards and received a 5 Cup Award at the Beverage Standards Awards 2012. Tea Monkey was one of only five outlets to win the ‘Five Cup’ accreditation, the maximum available at the awards.

Tracey herself is a serial entrepreneur and has a knack for identifying a gap in the market and taking advantage of it. In a nation of tea drinkers Tea Monkey is a very attractive concept. They sell over 40 types of loose tea and an extensive range of pyramid tea sacks and wellness teas, as well as coffees and food.

The community aspect of drinking tea is of particular importance to Tea Monkey. Tracey says, “We aim to create spaces to bring people together in a positive way. In today’s society, people are so busy running around from one place to another, but we believe tea is all about taking time to sit down, relax and enjoy other people’s company. We like to give people the opportunity to socialise – we are ‘the original chat room’.”

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