A bland strip of warehouses in Port Coquitlam's newest light industrial area is now home to a unique enterprise that is drawing artisans, crafters and artists along with tea drinkers.
Many might know Tammara Goertzen, a Dragon's Den winner in 2010, who makes her popular micro-ground powdered tea in a warehouse in Port Coquitlam.
Domo Tea has become a thriving business with distributors all over B.C., and robust sales in London Drugs and Save-On-Foods, as well as cafés and specialty grocery stores.
Since the pandemic started, Goertzen's products have been flying off the shelves.
"People are looking for comfort food," acknowledged Goertzen of her instant tea and hot chocolate powders that come in a variety of flavours, including Vanilla Macha, London Fog, Earl Grey, Chai and more from recipes that Goertzen developed herself.
On the day the Tri-City News showed up at the warehouse in the Dominion Triangle, Goertzen and her team were mixing the deep-flavoured macha in huge bowls, before packaging it for London Drugs.
Coming in colours as rich as the tea itself — copper, sage green, and harvest gold — the powdered teas are mixed into lattes at home, with nothing more complicated than boiling water and a little dairy or dairy substitute.
But tea and hot chocolate production is only part of the enterprise in the warehouse at 1180-853 Seaborne Ave.
While Domo Tea has been Goertzen's "baby" for several years as she became a mother and moved to Coquitlam, Salt + Clay Studio is her newest enterprise.
Located in the front half of her leased warehouse, Salt + Clay offers artisans a place to display their works on consignment, including fabric arts, pottery, body products and jewelry, and Goertzen creates her own large resin and wood art works for clients.
"This all happened because I got this warehouse," said Goertzen. "I was pretty busy with Domo but this all fell into place. It was all very organic and not stressful."
Only open for eight months, Salt + Clay Studio has garnered a substantial following, thanks to Goertzen's careful curation of her Instagram feed, to which she posts photos and videos daily.
"People want to buy local and they want to support local," said Goertzen, whose own art works feature stark images of evergreen trees against dramatic backdrops.
Goertzen also takes bookings from artists interested in using her studio to teach crafts and will be teaching classes herself on how to make the paper mache bowls and lamp shades she features in her shop.
Word of mouth and Instagram, as well as recent "sip and shops" over Christmas, are helping Goertzen get the word out about Salt + Clay while the Domo Tea business trundles along nicely.
"It's been a pretty amazing ride to have an idea in your head and and now it's far beyond me."
The shop is open at Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., but appointments can be made for weekends. Follow Goertzen on Instagram.