Ap­pren­tices find tea and some sym­pa­thy…

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Kirsty Parkin

THOSE who sat down with a cuppa to watch last week’s episode of The Ap­pren­tice may have spot­ted an Ash­ford tea com­pany mak­ing an ap­pear­ance.

The Kent Tea and Trad­ing Com­pany, based in Piv­ing­ton Mill, Pluck­ley, fea­tured on The Ap­pren­tice last Wed­nes­day.

Con­tes­tants from the busi­ness chal­lenge show, fronted by Sir Alan Sugar, de­scended on the small fac­tory shop in Oc­to­ber, to buy tra­di­tional tea for their latest chal­lenge, which was to sell qual­ity Bri­tish prod­ucts in France.

The fam­ily-run com­pany, which has Lib­erty of Lon­don among its clients, sells more than 150 va­ri­eties of tea in­clud­ing herbal, green and spicy.

Owner Richard Smith said: “An en­tourage of trucks, crew and trail­ers ar­rived and they filmed for about an hour.

“We were told by one of Alan Sugar’s side­kicks not to give them any ad­vice, al­though when no one was look­ing, I did sug­gest mar­malade would do well!

“I thought they were go­ing to be in busi­ness suits and quite ag­gres­sive, but they were as mild and meek as any­thing, very dif­fer­ent to the char­ac­ters you see on TV.”

Af­ter brows­ing through the shelves stacked with the weird and won­der­ful of the tea world, the team left with £150 worth of Pluck­ley Tea and English Break­fast gift packs.

While they won the task, it was the tea which failed to tempt the cof­fee-drink­ing French in Ar­ras, where Ap­pren­tice teams set up stalls in a mar­ket.

“The English like strong tea but the French are more into fruity and del­i­cate flavours,” said Mr Smith.

Sir Alan Sugar and, left, Richard with some Pluck­ley Tea

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