Harney & Sons Fine Teas, Millerton, New York
Cloverly is proud to have partnered in sustainability with Harney & Sons since August 2019. The family company, founded by the late John Harney, sells more than 300 varieties of tea at harney.com—everything from classics like English breakfast and Earl Grey to such exotics as raspberry mojito and avocado leaf. The website is also steeped in tea advice and lore. Harney operates 2 tea shop/cafes, in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City and in Millerton, a lovely town 2 hours north of the city.
The Harney family strongly supports sustainability, diversity, and equality. As a member of 1% for the Planet, the company donates 1% of sales to environmental groups. It also invites ecommerce customers to round up their purchase to the next dollar and donate those extra pennies (which Harney matches) to World Central Kitchen, Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation, or the NAACP.
Who are you?
I'm Emeric Harney, the marketing director and a third-generation master tea blender. I learned from my father, Michael Harney, and grandfather, John Harney, the founder of Harney & Sons.
How did your company begin?
My grandfather was managing the White Hart inn in Salisbury, Connecticut. A gentleman named Stanley Mason told him, "You're clearly putting pride into your food and into your coffee, but you're serving tea bag tea." The rest, as they say, is history.
Stanley Mason had a small mail-order business called Sarum Teas. My grandfather apprenticed with him and learned the trade. Under Stanley's tutelage, he blended and packaged teas in the basement of the inn. My grandfather took over entirely in 1980, and in 1983 he changed the name to Harney & Sons.
How do you find your unusual teas—and create your unusual blends?
We definitely source teas from traditional sources—Chinese black tea and Indian black tea, for example. And then we do try to find teas that are a little bit off the beaten path. Maybe a country like Indonesia or Kenya is not necessarily known for the highest quality tea, but there are purveyors in that country that are making nice teas that are above being relegated to a tea bag.
95% of our blends we do ourselves. Having a good sense of taste and a good sense of closeness with our customers, we can create blends that are unique to Harney & Sons. And every summer we have a blend contest where consumers through social media can submit blend ideas. From July 20 through 24 this year, people can vote on whatever of this year's submissions they think is the most exciting, and then we'll release that blend for sale in the 4th quarter of the year.
Why did you decide to give your customers the option of carbon-neutral shipping with Cloverly?
It was always important to us to do what we could to have an impact on sustainability. My uncle and father very much look up to Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia [a founder of 1% for the Planet].
I think there's a large number of our customers that do appreciate our stewardship efforts. Our product does have to travel the world to get to us. Any little bit that we can do as a brand, and we can do as consumers, I think really has an impact. And to offset with Cloverly is actually a nominal amount.
What is your company proudest of?
It's kind of a toss-up between 2 things: making tea an everyday luxury, which was my grandfather's mission, and educating people about tea. We pass traditions down from generation to generation, and we share that knowledge with our customers.
Carbon-neutral shipping with Cloverly
Cloverly provides an easy way for ecommerce consumers to purchase carbon offsets and achieve carbon-neutral shipping for their orders, at no cost to the store owner. For details, visit cloverly.com/how-it-works. Shopify store owners can get our Shopify shipping app by clicking here. If you have a Magento store, click here.