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Durban-born Phendula Tips turns 21

| Supplier news

This year marks the 21st birthday of local tea brand, Phendula Tips, the founding brand of local Durban tea business, Joekels Tea Packers.

Joekels Tea Packers was formed by Joe Swart and Jonathan Kelsey in 1994. Swart and Kelsey lived a stone’s throw from each other in a Pinetown neighbourhood and later struck up a friendship on the rugby field. Although very different, they both believed that there was a gap in the market for an affordable quality tea – and so the Phendula brand (which means to turn around or change in Zulu) was born. The name of the brand couldn’t have been more apt for Swart and Kelsey, who both left the security of corporate jobs to pursue the Phendula dream.

The planning began in earnest in Joe’s garage, until the pair were able to secure their first official work space in Pinetown, where they started production of the first Phendula Tips tea bags.

Joekels Tea Packers is now the third largest tea manufacturer in South Africa and produces a wide range of tea brands that have become household names in South Africa – including Laager Rooibos, Laager Tea4Kidz and Tetley.

“It is a testament to our quality that we are still selling our very first product Phendula Tips, despite all the changes and growth that has happened over the last 21 years,” says Swart.  The team still believes that Phendula Tips has huge growth potential as it holds true to the initial brand vision of “giving South Africans a premium tea at an economy price”.

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