WacoFork
WacoFork

This week, Marcus Lemonis visits the father-son duo behind Tea2Go, a Texas-based tea chain. Jeff Hunt and Taylor Logan’s broken relationship has put their business in jeopardy and unless Lemonis can convince them to separate their business and personal lives, their business could reach its boiling point.

Lemonis first describes the store as “barren,” saying they did the absolute bare minimum. The company has allowed the father and son to build their relationship given that Hunt wasn’t very involved in his early life. Logan, who was studying business and marketing, even left college to start the business after his father asked.

They then allow Lemonis to try some of their most popular teas, which Lemonis likes. It’s approximately 12 cents per scoop and with a retail price of $2.89, the margins rest around 90 percent. But Lemonis wonders why they don’t offer coffee or any food, which boils down to a cost issue. Additionally, neither of them really like tea in the first place.

Meeting the distributor, who brings in all products for the business, Lemonis discusses the lack of passion for the business. He then asks about the franchise locations, which he doesn’t even own most of anymore. He now only owns two stores. Visiting some of the franchise locations, he wonders about the differences between stores. He can see the passion in the eyes of those at one Texas location, despite not making a profit. In another Texas store, he is struck by the amount of accessories they sell, but shocked to hear that he and Logan do not have a good work relationship.

Getting down to the question of what would happen if Logan was not his son and if guilt plays a part in his involvement, Hunt says that “he would no longer be a part of my company.” He decides to talk to Logan separately, learning more about their personal relationship and everything Hunt missed out on.

Despite the company’s difficulties, Lemonis decides to offer $350,000 for 75 percent equity, given the huge risk. Hunt counters 65 percent, which Lemonis does not accept. They settle on $350,000 for 70 percent, and, of course, being 100 percent in charge.

The first step Lemonis takes is to gather the franchise owners together to get them up to speed, sans Logan who “worked late” the night before. He informs them that he intends to change the name of the business and everyone seems to be on board.

At the International Franchise Expo, they visit various booths, who offer advice regarding franchises and strategy. Lemonis tells Hunt he needs to be tougher with Logan, who sets a time limit on when franchise owners can contact him and even got drunk one night, missing a meeting with the franchises the next day. Lemonis tells Logan he needs to be available 24/7 and that he could be fired if he doesn’t get his act together. He says, “This sh*t isn’t going to fly with me.”

Logan says he would have preferred to be fired, but wants to be challenged. They again meet the distributor and Lemonis suggests adding spices to their teas to generate more revenue. He suggests becoming partners with him and they agree to go full throttle with their tea-spice business.

Back with the franchise owners, Lemonis seeks to clear the air. One owner has felt disappointed in the lack of training and the lack of involvement. Many also felt frustrated over having Logan tell them what to do without much guidance. Hunt feels as though he’s being thrown under the bus, however, Lemonis sees things a bit differently. He sees that Hunt hasn’t been giving them any direction or resources and pushes ahead for the new concept. He debuts the spice/tea business, newly titled the American Tea & Spice Shop.

He first remodels one franchise location, which belongs to Randy and Dawn, while they visit bakers and designers to get their product all set for the big day. Logan then apologizes for his “lack of respect,” which impresses Lemonis, who is “cautiously optimistic.” That positivity is then quickly struck down by the news from the distributor that Hunt is still working on old Tea2Go concepts with franchises. They are signing agreements for franchises, none of which have closed, with a concept that no longer exists. It then turns into a trust issue between Logan and Hunt, including Hunt telling Logan to never refer to him as “Jeff” again, which he calls disrespectful. They agree to put an end to the franchise agreements.

Moving on, Lemonis learns that Logan and Hunt hadn’t spoken for days after their argument. Hunt says Logan is making excuses for not calling him dad, adding that he’s “done” with providing things to his son. After Hunt cuts him off, Logan gets down to business, finishing up the newly-renovated store. Hunt, who was missing in action for putting on the final touches, informs Lemonis that he formed a franchise counsel for Tea2Go, which would be a competing concept. Lemonis calls it a “blessing in disguise,” effectively ending their first deal and adding a new chain for franchises to decide where they can find more success for their store.

At the grand opening, the franchise owners are amazed. The store now includes not only tea and spices, but food, gift items and books. Lemonis calls the store warm, inviting and a complete homerun. Finishing off the deal, Lemonis informs Logan that the company will pay for him to go back and finish his education. They seal the deal by gifting Lemonis with a true Texas cowboy hat.

Social Media Reacts to Tea2Go’s Appearance on “The Profit”

What did you think of Logan’s work ethic in the beginning? Do you think Hunt was too harsh with his son? Sound off in the comments section below!