They’re all going ape for Monkey business!

Tracey Bovingdon
Tracey Bovingdon
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FEEDBACK following the opening in Milton Keynes of a new tea cafe concept has been so good that the brand will become a franchise – with the first of 18 others due to open in Bath.

Tea Monkey opened recently in Midsummer Place, Central Milton Keynes, the brainchild of entrepreneur Tracey Bovingdon.

Tea Monkey in MK

Tea Monkey in MK

Ms Bovingdon, 47, pictured, said: “We are set to rival or complement the current coffee chains by offering the market a viable alternative, and making tea the modern drink of the times.” Tea Monkey also serves coffee.

The tea-vangelical businesswoman added: “We also believe UK businesses will play a vital role in the regeneration of the country and therefore the majority of our suppliers are smaller, independent wholesalers within the UK who have created some innovative and fresh products.

“We promote these suppliers and our eco messages on our website  

“We also have a music library available on our site and encourage local bands to bring their music into store to be uploaded for people to listen to in all of our branches.”

Music events will be branded Tea Total.

Tea Monkey also markets itself as a place for local groups to meet and has set up a Charitea Begins at Home scheme.

The self-financed company aims to allocate a percentage of the profits of each store to locally based support groups and charities that need additional funding

Tea Monkey currently sponsors Madcap theatre company in Wolverton and The Food Bank in Milton Keynes.

The concept will be available as a franchise, with a ‘business-in-a-box’ policy of providing ongoing support to people who invest in the idea.

Each store has iPads on wall-mounted arms for customers to use free of charge. There’s also free WiFi connected to a wireless printer allowing customers to work and play with a cuppa.

This time next year Tea Monkey intends to have outlets in major cities across the UK, including London, Liverpool and Birmingham.