Meet Anne Johnson, Owner of Mamancy Tea & Chocolate
“We source teas from all over the world,” says Anne Johnson, founder of Mamancy Tea & Chocolate, which has locations in Beaverton and Hillsboro. “Being from Kenya, it is easy [for me] to source teas directly from the farmers.” (“Mamancy” is a blend of her husband and two children’s names.)
Anne began sourcing teas in 2018 and selling them at a kiosk in Washington Square, before opening her two brick and mortar locations. Her entree’ into the tea business was inspired by a date with her then boyfriend, now husband, Mark, where they shared tea at a small tea shop in NW Portland. She fondly remembers that special occasion and expressed the desire to offer that experience to others. “You’ve got to believe in what you’re doing,” Anne said. “It’s about sharing experiences with people. I wanted to create more places for people to create memories.”
Anne signed the lease on her Beaverton Mamancy Tea & Chocolate location in December 2019 and built out the space in January and February of 2020. She opened her doors at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Anne recalled a time when one of her first customers drove up to the storefront parked and appeared to be coming inside the shop during the early days of the Covid pandemic and businesses were beginning to close their doors. “I was having a dialogue with myself, wondering if she was actually going to come into my shop.” When she came through the doors, Anne was delighted and asked what kind of tea she would like. “I don’t like tea,” the customer said, “but I wanted to support a black-owned business.”
“She bought tea for her family and friends,” explained Anne, and she was so happy to have made a significant sale. Reflecting back on her early 2020 opening, Anne says, “The whole process hasn’t been easy. It’s been a blast. But a very confusing blast.”
Anne’s advice to new business owners and budding entrepreneurs is “Go for it! Provide something that the community appreciates.” And Anne has done just that.
Her two tea shops offer assorted teas, chocolates and other sweets, a “high tea” experience, all in a cozy yet contemporary environment. She states that “tea doesn’t have to be doily” and offers an experience for all ages in a fun, comfortable and welcoming environment not to miss.