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Equipment Research Led to Big Savings


Woman-owned Felicity Loft of Soldotna, Alaska, began in 2020 with founder Megan Weston’s dream and goal to make quality teas fun and approachable. After years of experience in food service, including almost a decade of restaurant ownership, Megan’s passion began to collect in a few distinct pools: support the local economy, utilize the abundant inspiration and resources found in the wilds and nature of Alaska, and build a work structure that would still allow space for nurturing relationships with family and friends. Felicity launched its first line of teas in June 2021 with ingredients sourced everywhere, from small farms in Nepal to wildflower fields in remote corners of the Kenai Peninsula.

The Challenge

Felicity Loft LLC was looking to provide a variety of formats to their product (tea, currently loose leaf only) so that they can support new markets like food service and hospitality while keeping up with customer demand for more convenience. The company contacted Alaska MEP, part of the MEP National Network™, for guidance.
MEP connected me with the right team to do manufacturing research so that I ended up getting the right machine for my size business and needs. They provided funding for the research itself, which saved me time and energy, and saved me at least $50,000 in equipment costs.
— Megan Weston, Owner

MEP's Role

Felicity Loft's team had space constraints and a certain type of pyramidal tea bag in mind, a compostable one also suited to the company's preferred number of grams of tea per sachet. Company leadership, busy hand-packing tea, also didn't have the time they truly needed to dedicate to the research, either. Alaska MEP helped Felicity Loft identify an appropriate piece of equipment suited to working with compostable materials, which not all machines can handle. Ultimately, through finding a machine that worked, Alaska MEP was able to help the company avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars on a machine that wouldn't have truly suited their needs in the end. Based on advice and consultation Felicity Loft had been given in the market, these machines would cost at minimum $90,000 to purchase and install.

Created July 29, 2023