Perfect Match(a)! The founders of a green tea energy drink wowed the judges on Dragons’ Den

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Perfect Match(a)! The founders of a green tea energy drink wowed the judges on Dragons’ Den

The tea trio are on track for £4million turnover this year with the help of Steven Bartlett and Peter Jones

Teddie, Marisa and Levi.( Photo: Jeremy Coleman)
Teddie, Marisa and Levi.( Photo: Jeremy Coleman)

Last week housemates Marisa Poster and Teddie Levenfiche, both 25, appeared on BBC1’s Dragons’ Den to ask for £50,000 for a five percent stake in their PerfectTed business, which they created together with Teddie’s brother Levi, 28, who also happens to be Marisa’s boyfriend (do keep up!). All five Dragons made an offer in what was the first clean sweep of the series following the duo’s enthusiastic and infectious pitch. But it was Steven Bartlett and Peter Jones who Teddie and Marisa opted to work with, for a £25,000 investment for a five percent share from each.

Pretty impressive given neither, by their own admission, have much food or drink experience.

Teddie, an ex-UCS boy who grew up watching Dragons’ Den with his dad and was determined to one day appear on the show, says: “I studied international relations then worked in management consultancy and was meant to go to law school, but now this has kind of taken over. Every day is a beautiful disaster that we are figuring out.”

Teddie and Jack as kids

Teddie credits his childhood best friend (also ex-UCS) Jack Morgan, who passed away in 2019 aged 22, as the inspiration behind his entrepreneurship. “Jack is a big reason as to why I started this business. He loved Dragons’ Den and knew I wanted to start something. He inspired me to pursue my passion and his passing away made me not want to waste another minute.”

Launched in 2021, PerfectTed (the name is a play on ‘perfected’ and ‘perfect ten’) was born from a desire to bring the green-tea-powered energy drinks – made with matcha and flavoured with real fruit – to the masses. They have managed to get the range into more than 1,000 Tesco stores nationwide, plus Holland & Barrett, Planet Organic, Selfridges and Joe & The Juice, among other well-known retailers. There are three flavours – apple raspberry, pineapple yuzu, and pear ginger. The company also sells ceremonial-grade matcha powder.

US-born Marisa, who now lives in London, explains: “I have ADHD and anxiety and for years I suffered from the negative side effects of caffeine and sugary energy drinks. The jitters, crashes and heightened anxiety made my neurodiversity even harder to deal with! Then, I finally found the solution I’d been looking for: matcha green tea.” The company’s website says the drink can keep you energised without the crashes of coffee, reduce anxiety and improve your focus, energy and immunity.

Marisa and Teddie met on their first day at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). They both went on to have successful careers in finance – Marisa in real estate finance with stints at Starwood Capital Group and Teddie worked as an associate consultant at Bain & Company. It was while putting in the long hours that they discovered the benefits of matcha as a healthy alternative to coffee.

When they returned to the UK, Marisa, Teddie and Levi, who all live together in Fitzrovia, were surprised how few ready-to-drink options there were so they decided to create one. “We started making up large batches. We all feel so great after drinking matcha and want to help others feel as good as we do.” They poured their savings into the business and launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to get further funding, enabling them to finalise the PerfectTed branding and complete the first round of production. The company is run from offices in Queen’s Park with the matcha being farmed in Japan and then produced from a facility in Devon.

Marisa is responsible for advertising and marketing, Teddie for operations and sales, and Levi, also a UCS alumni, for the financial side of the business, making them the perfect team – or make that perfect match(a).

It must get quite intense, living and working together? “It’s insanity,” says Teddie, “it’s really intense.” Marisa adds: “We clearly really enjoy one another’s company and it really does help the business, as being together and being able to work through things quickly is really efficient.”

Levi, Marisa and Teddie. (Photo: Jeremy Coleman)

Growing up in New York, Marisa was a member of the Temple Shaaray Tefila (synagogue). She moved to London and completed a Masters of Science in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management at Imperial College. She often attends Norrice Lea on Friday nights, with Teddie and Levi, who are members there.

Marisa says she has long been aware of the relationship between food and the body. Aged 17 she had a tumour in her hip. “I really started to focus on my diet and healthy food, as what you put in your body is so intrinsically tied to your health.”

A few years later, she spent six months living in Tel Aviv, studying at the Tel Aviv University as part of her university degree. As well as feeling “extremely connected to the Jewish community there” she was also inspired by the healthy way of living. “There was so much access to healthy food, and restaurants served a lot of healthy options. There was a focus on food as medicine and that definitely inspired me to want to set something up.”

Fast forward and PerfectTed is on track to do £4 million turnover in the next 12 months, not to mention now working with two of the nation’s most influential business figures in Steven Bartlett and Peter Jones.

How’s that going? “We have been working with Steven very closely,” says Teddie. “He’s an amazing supporter of the brand.  We’re such huge fans of him and it’s through listening to his podcast that we have been able to get through the challenges of the first 16 months in business, so to have him on board as an investor, mentor and adviser is immensely helpful.” He adds: “There’s definitely an extra element to our brand now as everything we do is a reflection of Steven and his own brand – we’re incredibly motivated to prove him right for investing in us.”



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