Katie Hammond

Bachelor of Business Studies (Management)

Next time you complain about doing an assignment: don’t: it is exactly how Katie Hammond’s now-thriving business started.

Katie Hammond's KTea - loose-leaf fair trade tea.

Katie Hammond’s KTea – loose-leaf fair trade tea.

The 25-year-old always knew she would someday start her own company, but even she was surprised at how quickly it happened.While studying business at Massey, she did an assignment examining the New Zealand market for fair trade loose-leaf tea.

It became quickly clear that there was a glaring gap, which she filled with a product she calls KTea.

In 2006, she completed a Bachelor of Business Studies majoring in management and enterprise development, and four years later her assignment came to life.

In 2013 she won the New Zealand Fairtrade Product Awards Small Company award.

Starting off small, Miss Hammond began selling at the City Market and Underground Craft Market in Wellington in 2010, and was ordering tea in three-kilogram boxes from a third-party supplier in Australia.

Now she imports 100-kilogram boxes of fair trade black and green teas direct from the first certified organic tea garden in the world in Sri Lanka, with South Island herbs mixed in to make her unique flavour combinations.

It’s not quite a full-time job yet, but stockists already include five Wellington cafes, two supermarkets and specialist fine-foods retailers Moore Wilson’s, Commonsense Organics and Urban Harvest.

Wellington is famous for it’s cafes and coffee culture.

Katie is on a personal mission to take on the world of hot drinks, and make tea, specifically fair trade tea, the next ‘coffee’. With the list of stockists, and the product’s reputation growing, she’s off to a great start.