Chennai

Aspiring lyricist tastes success with an eco-friendly tea shop

When 28-year-old Dheena, an aspiring lyricist, opened a tea shop on the Marina beach six months ago, he wanted to make it stand out and for good reasons.

While his competitors served beverages in plastic, paper or glass cups, he chose to serve tea or coffee in cups made of coconut shells. “There were a few reasons why I wanted to use the coconut shell,” he says.

Dheena at his tea shop on the Marina where he serves beverages in cups made of coconut shells.

Dheena at his tea shop on the Marina where he serves beverages in cups made of coconut shells. | Photo Credit: R. RAGU

“When you are doing something that many are already good at, you have to find ways to stand apart. So, when I realised that we were setting up a shop close to the beach, we wanted to go eco-friendly and generate as little waste as possible,” he says.

Initially, he bought quite a lot of cups and started his venture. Then, with time, he found it was not viable and simultaneously hired a few persons to make coconut shells exclusively for the shop. “Now, we use close to 60-70 cups in the shop a day. I hear it is also healthy for people to use coconut shells as cups,” he says.

Despite inflation and rising costs, in a small attempt to help the hungry, he offers black coffee for just one rupee a cup every Monday. “I am addicted to black coffee. So, initially when I set up the shop and saw many on the beach who cannot afford to buy anything to drink, I thought at least, I can provide black coffee for one rupee,” he says.

After his shop became a hit, he is now starting two more shops at Pammal and Purasawalkam where he plans to use bamboo cups. “With the competition in the market, we have to be different and pull a crowd,” he says.


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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 11:53:47 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/aspiring-lyricist-tastes-success-with-an-eco-friendly-tea-shop/article65595252.ece