At SuraiTea, we focus on premium tea and changing lives.
Since November 2015, Canada has accepted more than 31,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the war in their home country of Syria. These refugees have left everything behind to start a new life in Canada. Though they have come from so far, they bring similar customs to those which already exist here including the appreciation for brewing and drinking tea.
Jasmine is the unofficial national flower of Syria. Damascus, the capital city of Syria and one of the oldest cities in the world, is also known as the City of Jasmine. Jasmine tea has been brewed for centuries by ancient groups because of its calming and rich aroma and taste. Jasmine is a white aromatic flower which grows in gardens and along walking paths in Syria and is ubiquitous in the memories of each of these newest Canadians. A Pending Certified B Corp start-up founded by an MBA student at uOttawa with a desire to use his skills to do his part, SuraiTea has been operating an online store since March 2016. SuraiTea's mission is to use the power of the markets to create positive social change for refugees. In partnership with organizations, we hope to become a stepping stone that helps refugees arriving in Canada enter the workforce. Also, as we grow, we hope to generate the means to sustainably donate funds to organizations involved in the resettling effort to help them through their times of need. We have run our first production run and have empowered some of these newest Canadians with their first Canadian employment experience and we hope to achieve many more. The more our customers support us by purchasing our teas, the more positive social change we can create for refugees.
When you purchase our organic Jasmine teas, we promise that they will provide you with the rich aroma and taste which Jasmine is known for, in addition to a feeling of satisfaction that you are supporting social progress.
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CEO / Founder
|Kevin Smiley is a recent full-time MBA graduate from the University of Ottawa and founder of SuraiTea Inc. Born and raised in Ottawa, he took environmental engineering at Queen's University in Kingston and worked previously in renewable power and sustainable real estate development. Kevin has a passion for helping others and is intrinsically motivated to do his part to create positive social and environmental change in the world. He is an organic vegetable gardener, enjoys cooking, believes in paying it forward and believes that everybody can make a difference. Kevin lives in Ottawa and is newly married to his long-time sweetheart Amanda who is a physician that focuses on women's issues and delivering babies.|
At SuraiTea, our mission is to use the power of the markets to create positive social change for refugees. We believe that a crucial aspect of the social change which we hope to create is that we empower our Syrian-Canadian staff with their first employment experience here in Canada. On the job skills, confidence, Canadian work experience on the resume and a healthy routine in their new home, we believe, will lead to long term stability and prosperity here in Canada. It is important that we work with not-for-profit organizations to achieve this mission. To increase the social change which we can create, we may also need to work with investors for equity financing.
By incorporating as a B Corp, SuraiTea's mission is in the corporate DNA. The power of filing this way is that SuraiTea can remain attractive to potential investors. These investors may increase our ability to create social change so we are open to helping them meet their objectives as long as we meet ours.
Only about 14 per cent of government-assisted refugees find work during their first year in Canada, while more than half of privately sponsored refugees do.