Moderator Edit: Per forum rules, Skyla of Sloane Fine Teas requested permission to post this clarification. After review of the request and the intended post, permission was granted.
Dear sherubtse and Devoted 135 ,
Thank-you for your concerns about the veracity of claims made by Sloane Representatives whether at our Toronto Signature Shoppe or online on our website. At Sloane, we take great pride in the congruency of our principles and to never say anything contrary to the truth. As such, when we see such discussions we like to help provide truthful and factual information so that the tea "community" is better informed and perhaps takes a closer look at the strength of our company's backbone.
In this particular instance, we would like to help you gain clarity regarding the details of exclusivity pertaining to teas from Jungpana Estate in Darjeeling. Sloane Fine Tea Merchants is not the only company that sells Jungpana in North America, however, we are indeed the only company that is permitted to source teas directly from the garden through an exclusivity agreement we have with this and many other gardens that we work with. If other vendors sell these teas, it is either as a result of them purchasing the teas from Sloane Fine Tea Merchants directly, or as a result of them purchasing from a series of brokers and distributors outside of North America, in which case, the teas have not been purchased directly from the garden. In essence, Sloane Fine Tea Merchants is the exclusive distributor of teas from Jungpana for all of North America. In fact, Sloane Fine Tea Merchants is an official partner with Junpana, and you will find our signs in the Junpana garden if you choose to visit this beautiful, and majestic place.
In regards to your confusion as to when this arrangement was put into place - it was since May 2008 that this agreement was struck, particularly with Jungpana. There are other companies who had stock of the Jungpana teas prior to that and continued selling it after 2008. However, we were not concerned with this, as we are focused on our own organizations' mission.
As to the expensiveness of our teas, we can assure you that if you were to compare our grade of teas, alongside a similar tea from a similar garden and flush, you would find actually, we are quite competitive for the offerings we are providing. It would also depend on which format of pricing you have reviewed: whether retail, gift, wholesale, etc. as there are many tiers and clientele to which we cater and service.
I do hope this has cleared up any confusion about the strength of Sloane's relationship with the Jungpana garden. And if you are in further doubt, please feel free to contact the garden directly and speak with the Kejriwal family who owns the garden and they will no doubt dispel any further misgivings.
Customer Service Manager
Sloane Fine Tea Merchants