The long journey
The story of The Tea Center of Stockholm began far from Sweden's capital. Many decades ago, a young boy was sent by his father from their home in northern Sri Lanka to the southern parts of the island nation to spend the summer with his uncle on a tea plantation. The idea was just to give the boy a change of scenery between school terms, but curious and observant as he was, he would get more out of the walks on the plantation and the conversations with the workers than anyone, himself included, could have predicted.
Something strange the boy noticed around the plantation were the big boxes with strange words on them – Amsterdam, London, Paris. He had no idea then what those words meant. Just how familiar he would become with the boxes, their contents and the journey that lay ahead, he could never have guessed.
Target in sight
His knowledge of the Orient and knowledge of the English language made him an important employee at KF who provided him with leadership training and gave him responsibility for importing coffee and tea. The circle was about to close.
During his eleven years at KF, Vernon had the opportunity to learn most of what there was to know about beverages. With countless tastings and plantation visits around the world, as well as a deep understanding of import operations, he was now ready to start his own business.
In 1978, East West Scandinavia AB was founded.
The shop is open
The newly started company would import and sell wholesale quantities of high quality tea from the world's top plantations. Office space was rented on the so-called Hornsgatspuckeln, but the property owners and neighbors – mainly galleries and other creative businesses – objected to the fine premises being used only for offices and demanded some form of retail operations.
Thus was born The Tea Center of Stockholm .
After starting as a small shop by pure chance, The Tea Center of Stockholm has become an icon on Södermalm and the jewel in East West Scandinavia AB's crown. It is an old-fashioned, homely shop where a single product is the focus – namely tea. A passion for tea permeates the shop's atmosphere, where even the interior itself is a delight for a true tea enthusiast. Top class tea, personal service and good ethical standards are what characterize The Tea Center of Stockholm.
Wholesale is still an important part of the business. However, the company is undoubtedly best known for direct sales to the many tea lovers from all over the world who visit the store on Hornsgatan.
Vernon knew better than anyone what it takes to cultivate a deep passion for tea. As he neared retirement, he made sure to share as much of his knowledge as possible with his son, Gihan Mauris. Like his father, Gihan spent parts of his upbringing on plantations in distant lands, learning from people with intimate knowledge of the plants, absorbing their terroir and preparing for his own future in the tea business.