India Bellamy: Storm + India
With India’s return back to the 300-acre Tasmanian family farm comes space, connection and a sustainable tea and wellness business anew
If India Bellamy’s surname rings a bell it’s because she’s the daughter of Dooley, the original co-founder of the Australian Stock Exchange listed company Bellamy’s Organic Foods. In a Tasmanian homecoming tale, the pair recently returned, embarking on a wellness journey that’s redefining what’s in a tea cup.
India first began drinking tea as a one year old when her mother Dooley bottle-fed her chamomile tea as a way to make her fall asleep naturally. Few can claim that their professional expertise and palate predates a time before they were walking! Tea is in India’s veins and always has been.
“I grew up on an idyllic farm just outside Longford in northern Tasmania with my three siblings. When Mum was first pregnant she could not find any suitable local organic baby food. So my Mum and Dad had a big dream to buy a Tasmanian farm, turn it organic and create the world’s finest baby food. This was how Bellamy’s organic infant formula came to be,” recalls India.
“When I was a child, I recall Mum would often travel overseas and bring back tea samples from plantations and tea houses afar. My sister Storm and I would be so excited – it became a ritual for us. We’d even take thermos flasks of tea to school to share with our friends.”
After her parents parted ways, India moved to New Zealand at age 19 with her mum and siblings. Despite a stint at university and a foray into personal training, it was tea and wellness that remained India’s passion. In 2015, she launched the Storm + India organic detox tea brand with her sister Storm, successfully operating from Auckland until 2019, when India and her mum were lured back to the family farm in Tasmania.
“My sister Storm found love and now lives in France with her partner and young son, so stepped out of the business at the moment,” explains India. “Mum and I now manage the brand together and it’s so wonderful to be home. Yesterday I went out to an empty paddock and just lay there. It was bliss watching the hares hop around!”
Returning to Tasmania to begin anew with Storm + India was no easy task. The company had to create new supply chains, develop new relationships and export products back to their New Zealand customers. Despite the challenges India says the Tasmanian locals have been supportive.
The tea is internationally sourced and handpicked from India, Germany and Japan with sustainable earth-friendly packaging.
“We’re looking to develop a range of Tasmanian botanicals on the farm, such as peppermint, spearmint, chamomile and lavender,” explains India. “We have such an opportunity to celebrate the island through our farming communities and Tasmania couldn’t be a better place to work from. The new blends will be created at our new Organic Tea Studio in Longford, a 10-minute commute from the farm.”
“It will give people an opportunity to sample our teas. We’ll also be offering plant-based recipes. We do everything ourselves from homemade almond milk to cold brew iced tea, plant-based lattes and vegan smoothies.”
Wellness is paramount when it comes to their brand. “Our teas can assist with anything from restorative sleep to serotonin release, gut health and energy. For instance, the Japanese samurais used Macha before battle for long-release energy, stimulating the brain but calming the nervous system,” says India.
India wants to spread the news of the properties that inform the very reason tea was used only for medicinal purposes during its’ first 3,000 years.
The pair are eager to develop relationships and collaborations with Tasmanian organic growers for botanicals and to further grow the company’s export opportunities. Currently international customers can get their Storm + India fix through the website. However they are also looking to hire locals once the Tea Studio operation is in full swing.
“We have dreams for our brand,” says India with cartons piled high behind her “One day I’d love to open Organic Tea Studios here and in Asia. For now I’m just thrilled to be home and re-finding balance. Mum loves being back on the farm and I can’t wait to get back into horse riding. Oh, and we do enjoy a good cup of tea together.”
Are you interested in making a move? Make it Tasmania.
Find out more about STORM + INDIA.
For information on starting a business in Tasmania look through our stories or visit Business Tasmania.