One of the best parts of opening and running The Nook Refillery is the incredible female entrepreneurs we get to work with. Meredith is the owner and founder of Lake and Oak Tea Co., a Hamilton-based company specializing in refillable superfood teas and adaptogen blends. We asked her to let us in on what inspired her to start her business and what a day in the life looks like for her.
What inspired you to start Lake and Oak Tea? Where did the idea spark from?
In 2017 I was a nutrition practitioner and managing some nagging symptoms of anxiety and digestive trouble. With my background in food and passion for natural healing, I went on a mission to create herbal tea blends that would naturally and effectively soothe a variety of health woes.
The ultimate goal was to create tea blends that were both delicious (to satisfy my cheffy side) and functional (so you feel amazing after drinking them).
It’s important that everything we create is fun to drink and looks cute in your pantry too.
What are your top 3 favourite blends and when do you drink them?
That’s tough because every time of day or experience calls for another tea! (I know my die hard tea drinkers agree)
- Morning time - Gut Love is especially grounding and cleansing with dandelion root, lemongrass and milk thistle; great for starting your day on the right note.
- When you’re craving a sweet treat - Turmeric Ginger Tonic with a bit of honey is the perfect all day tea.
- Mega Matcha - when you need a mental pick-me-up. The small boost of caffeine + adaptogens + L-theanine (improves alertness and clarity) is a recipe for a good mood. I drink it latte-style with frothed oat milk and maple syrup.
That your mindset and attitude can be more important than your circumstances. Every step of the way, entrepreneurship has required a new level of mindset and internal growth. It's an exhausting but rewarding experience.
What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Start now. You will never feel 100% ready or “enough”.
Marie Forleo said it best: “Clarity comes from action, not thought”. I spent years planning, plotting and preparing to start a business but the only way to get anywhere is just to start.
Oh, and plan for continuous mistakes, “failures” and screw-ups ;)
What does a normal day look like for you? How big is the Lake and Oak team?
Some days it’s IG-worthy (photo shoots, travelling for business, and sampling/developing new products) but a lot of the time it is paying bills, sourcing ingredients from far and wide, solving problems, and customer care.
The most fun comes out of developing new products and meeting new like minded people. Our team is tight-knit but growing rapidly. We’re primarily family-run, but I am lucky to work with talented women such as our photographer, social media manager, graphic designer and digital marketer.
Everything is developed, formulated, packed up and shipped out in our HQ in Hamilton, Ontario.
Your work to support mental health is something that is truly inspiring. Could you tell us a little bit more about that?
My own mental health journey was a big part of the inspiration for starting Lake & Oak. I fell in love with the power of herbs and the mindfulness that slowing down and having a cup of tea provides.
We give back 2% of our profits to CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health) in honour of all of the people who are fighting their own mental health battles, and to those that are helping to beat the stigma around mental illness. It’s just the beginning and I’m looking forward to being more of service, with our contributions and our community.
Meredith's amazing and mindfully created tea blends are available for refill in store now. We absolutely LOVE the Sun Mylk and Coco Rose Earl Grey. Have you tried them yet? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!