Where are you from?

Sydney, Australia

Tell me a little about you

I was born in Sydney. Been here since 91. Yes. so we go for New South Wales in the State of Origin. After all, it’s where you come from for Origin.

So, I’m just a suburban Sydney boy. I grew up in Riverwood. And once I left school, I didn’t really know what to do so did a few courses at night, about ten years worth of study. So I did personal administration for four years. And then industrial relations. Then and finally I found my real niche in my career of marketing. So about 10 years worth of night time and a bit of part time study. Mainly the career in Telstra. Twenty five years in Telstra. Yeah. And for the Commonwealth Bank when I left school. It was so boring in the bank I had to get out.

For the last ten years, it’s ten years next month, my wife and I started up the Tour de Tea business, wholesaling tea to cafes and restaurants. My daughters were keen to open up shop last year after nine years at the markets in Brisbane. We opened a shop because my daughters were keen to do that. But something went wrong there, Cara, because we’re still out with a 2:30 alarm clocks, going to early morning markets and they’re in the air conditioned shop.

Yeah, where’d that go wrong? So for the last 10 years we’ve been doing this. So. Pretty much in our niche now. Yeah. And it’s been interesting getting to know the tea in such a wide world of tea to get across. Yeah. I’d say we’re still learning because there’s so much out there. And do you like tea. Yeah I do. I do I like coffee too. It’s best not to get too parochial about these things. Yeah. there’s a big wide world of coffee drinkers and tea lovers.

What’s important to you and your life?

Well, friends and family is gotta be the big one. But I’ll always get a kick out of creating a laugh, seeing if I can make people have a chuckle or a smile or a laugh.

So I grew up with jokes, I was writing letters to my granny in Perth and they showed me later on I was always with jokes in the letters and mum and dad always told jokes around the house. So jokes and humor is important. There was a fair bit of tension between Mum and Dad over the years, they had a hard life, so things always ease with a bit of a laugh. It’s a common thing in the family. I love telling jokes. I collect jokes. I have a memory for jokes. I’ve always enjoyed spinning jokes out of people.

Have you ever thought about doing standup comedy or anything like that?

Oh look that’s another world of jokes. You know, the fact that you can tell a joke to a friend or a couple of friends in a circle.. is such a huge jump to saying a speech with a microphone and then getting out and making a career. That’s a hard game, standup comedy, but I admire the hell out of the guys and gals who do it.

I love the Australian stand ups. Wil Anderson, to me, is just a hero. But we’ve taken our girls out to see stand up when they were about 15 and the other one was about 17, both of them were mature enough to get an education from the Australian stand up comedians.

I decided to take them one 15 year old had a mature head so she was up for it. And the 17 year old was certainly there.

That’s a good way for them to get across social attitudes and the satirical stuff that the comedians were always assessing and exaggerating for humor.

Has anyone ever asked you this question before?

Probably not. Oh… No.

About Ken

Ken owns and runs Tour de Tea with his wife and daughters.