The sunrise of Sundown Tea triggered by a growing demand

Shannon @ SunDown Tea
Shannon Duncan @ SunDown Tea

While earning her degree at Western University with a double major in history and English, Shannon Duncan began trying different types of tea.

After graduation she worked in Japan for a year teaching English. On her return to London, Ontario, she started to map out her future. “Before that I never had a plan. It was difficult to see where I would be in five years. I was thinking of teaching, but the question was ‘where do I want to be?’ “
Then her entrepreneurial side kicked in. She came up with an idea, took a 12-hour course with the London Business Centre and researched the customer base and target audience. On Oct. 17, she will launch the grand opening of Sundown Tea on London’s west side.
“I found that tea stores are in the north end, south end and downtown.” There was no competition in the west end. The shopping plaza where she located, at Wonderland Road and Commissioners Road West, is anchored by a chain grocery store. It has lots of traffic.
“I definitely feel it is a growing market,” says Shannon of tea. “In the past it was tea bags. Now it’s loose-leaf tea. It’s much better quality.”
She says more and more tea drinkers are interested in loose-leaf tea. More people are getting introduced to it and it is likely to succeed.
Sundown Tea will open with 65 varieties of tea and will expand from there based on what customers like and their suggestions. Categories include white, black, green, oolong , herbal tea and Pu’erh.
“I have an expansive line of tea pots as well as tea cups, mugs and strainers.  The most popular is a little meshball tea ball. The flavour is distributed through the mug,” says Shannon.
One of the more exotic teas she is offering is silver needle tea. It is a white tea that has little processing. It has little white hairs on the tea leaf. “It has a cool flavour and a light, refreshing aroma.”
There is a reason for everything, including the store’s name. Shannon explains it this way: “When I think of the colours related to tea they match sundown – the reds, yellows and oranges. It is also my favourite time to sit down with tea.”
Sundown Tea facts
Location: Unit A15 at 509 Commissioner Rd. W., London Ontario
Store hours: Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed Monday.
Business phone 519-204-5200
Store hours: Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed Monday.
Business phone 519-204-5200; website

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