I am starting my own tea business. My plan is to develop my own brand and begin by selling through people I know and online, then potentially opening a brick and mortar tea shop, and possibly marketing my own line of bottled tea products. But I don't understand the private label industry. My intention is to buy my own packaging and do my own packing and labeling, even some of my own blending, and I know what many of the teas I want to carry are, but obviously I need the tea and starting small I don't think it's viable to purchase direct from the growers or become an importer.
So is it correct that what I want is private labeling?
Assuming that this is what I want, do all tea companies who sell wholesale offer private label or do I have to find a company that specializes in private label tea? For example, if I love adagio's sencha, harney's irish breakfast, metropolitan tea's apricot, etc - can I purchase each of these teas in bulk, dump them into my container's and sell them as my brand - maybe even blending the adagio product with the metro product? Or do I have to work with a company that specializes in private label, for example, tea guys.
I have more questions. If I can sell any company's tea (purchased wholesale) as my own brand, is there a different arrangement I must make with these vendors to sell their products in my packaging as opposed to in their own packaging? Within the same company, would certain teas be usable private label and other blends proprietary?
I would really appreciate any guidance on how this industry works.