First of 30 stores to debut in Boston
Whittard of Chelsea has opened its first tea boutique in Boston and plans a major US roll-out in the hope of getting a foothold in its competitive hot drinks market.

Whittard director of USA operations Andrew Richardson said: 'The aim is to provide US coffee drinkers with a quality alternative across the nation. We think there is a significant and growing market for Whittard of Chelsea's brand and products in the states. We have seen the success that branded speciality espresso bar chains have achieved in the UK and we intend to do the same for tea over there.'

The Baugur-owned tea and coffee specialist said it plans to open a further three US outlets this summer. It will open 30 stores on high streets, in shopping malls and lifestyle centres by the middle of next year. Shops are also being considered in Canada.

Richardson added: 'Our new boutiques will complement US-style tea shops, but will have a quintessential Englishness about them, making them highly unique.'

He said that Boston was selected as the first store location because it is a very English city, with strong historical links to Britain, especially with tea.

The city is where the infamous Boston Tea Party took place in 1773, when US colonists, in a protest against tea taxes levied by the British government, destroyed 342 crates of tea by throwing them overboard into Boston harbour.

In the UK, the company has 135 stores, but plans to open a further 10 by the end of the year.