Case Study: Tea Birds

Business Profile 

Tea Birds is a community café run by mum-of-one Sherie-Anne Perry; the café serves up homemade cakes, pastries, lunches, afternoon tea, cooked breakfast and dinners. It strives to support community initiatives.


Restaurants & Cafes


North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset

TDA Business Support 

  • Business diagnostic to understand current business plan and aims
  • A programme of business support to develop the business covering Finance, Marketing and HR delivered as part of the ERDF Start Up programme
  • Partnership and Funding (Sedgemoor Grants & Princes Trust Funding) signposting
  • Enrolment on the ERDF Growth Support Programme
  • Digital marketing support with business growth partner, Cosmic.

The Challenge

Passionate owner Sherie-Anne Perry had aspirations to run a business that would also support the needs of the local community. Being able to develop a viable business that stayed true to its values required careful planning and practical independent business advice.

The Solution 

Sherie-Anne enrolled on the ERDF Start Up programme in January 2018, with a 3 hour diagnostic session. This was followed by a further 9 hours of support under the programme. Working with the team, Sherie-Anne developed a focused business plan. Reviewing pricing and menus, identifying and tracking customer demand, reviewing cash flow and investigating new ideas, opportunities and revenues of income.

1 to 1 mentoring sessions were used to discuss long term plans and ideas. Meeting with a TDA Business Advisor provided a dedicated time to plan; away from the busy customer facing environment! Sherie-Anne commented: “I don’t know where I’d be without the support of TDA, it’s been a relief to have my own personal mentor that is there to listen no matter what I face.”

Tea Birds received 12 hours of support from the Start Up initiative and will now go on to benefit from the ERDF Growth Support programme. The Growth programme incorporates the latest marketing advice and digital tools available.

The Results

Having a business has meant overcoming challenges, learning new skills and realising that the dream of working for herself is possible. Being able to discuss ideas with a business advisor
provided Sherie-Anne with clarity on the types of opportunity that existed, and how to practically put new initiatives in place.

Phil Riste, TDA Business Advisor, said: “Sherie-Anne has a fantastic work ethic and is committed to bringing the community together through Tea Birds. By discussing new ideas together we
have been able to remain commercially aware, whilst achieving some fantastic new initiatives. There has been a new dog-friendly café garden area, monthly business networking meets on-site,
meals on wheels service to customers unable to get to the café, along with seasonal promotions linking in with national events.”

Sherie-Anne said: “Phil has been a constant means of support. He has helped guide me on the practical business elements essential to running my own business, whilst respecting and helping me to achieve the vision of the type of business I am trying to create for the Somerset community. “The business is growing. Morning trading hours have been extended to meet demand. The business also now supports a team of five dedicated volunteers.”

The Future

Exciting new ventures for Tea Birds in 2019 currently include, linking in with Jobcentre Plus and Somerset Mental Health partnership. To become, and promote Disability Confident and become a meeting hub for those with disability and health issues and their carers. There are also plans to work with local secondary schools offering work experience. TDA Support will continue to provide appropriate guidance and support, in particular workshops planned will provide enhanced digital business knowledge.

Tea Birds is located at 97 Fore Street, North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset. TA6 6RY.

Find out more about Tea Birds at: or check out Teabirds on Facebook.

Find out more about the Somerset Start Up & Grow Business support available at:





The Heart of the South West Growth Support Programme project is receiving up to £904,945 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit The accountable body for this programme is Devon County Council, working with the following delivery partners: BIP, Cosmic, North Devon +, Somerset Business Agency, TDA and YTKO

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