Mad Hat Tea with Tobin Ropes

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Tobin Ropes from Mad Hat Tea in Tacoma WA holds a tea thermos and gives it a kiss

About This Episode

Tobin from Mad Hat Tea shares his unconventional path to building the iconic Mad Hat Tea in Downtown Tacoma.

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Show Notes

Originally located in Downtown Tacoma on Commerce, Mad Hat Tea is now at its new location in Tacoma's Dome District (where Downtown Tacoma meets the Eastside).  His shop serves tea in a laid back setting for locals, even crafting custom teas for people at their request. In addition, Mad Hat runs a thriving online business where customers order tea from across the country. Tobin shares the story about how a voice in his head told him to start Mad Hat Tea, and what he did to start the shop and it a success without borrowing money. From a serendipitous encounter at a Pampered Chef party that led him to his first international tea importer to losing everything and working at El Gaucho to make a go of it. "I worked at Tacoma El Gaucho for almost two years," Tobin recalls.  "I would open the shop at 11. And then I'd close at 3:30pm. Then I'd put on my El Gaucho suit and work till midnight. Get up and do it all over again." If you've ever thought about starting a business in Tacoma, you'll get a lot of useful (and unconventional) ideas from Tobin! From finding landlords to simple marketing that works better than instagram. Mad Hat Tea is located at 301 A Puyallup Ave, Tacoma, WA 98421 and they're open Wednesday - Sunday.