Do you know what is hiding behind the Kusmi Tea boutique on Avenue Niel in Paris? At this adress, through the door at the back of the courtyard lies a unique place that witnessed the first chapters of the brand’s French adventure.
A peak behind the scenes…
Pavel Kousmichoff founded Kusmi in 1867, and his teas quickly became the favorite beverages of the tsars. He then passed down his knowledge to his son, Viatcheslav, who traveled to Paris in 1917 and moved into 75 Avenue Niel. The inimitable Russian flavor of Kusmi teas quickly won over the Parisian palace hotels, and the brand flourished. Viatcheslav’s son Constantin later headed up the family business, before the Orébi brothers took the reins in 2003 and restored the brand to its former glory. The siblings modernized the Kousmichoff family warehouse in 2016, while preserving its exceptional heritage features such as the charming glass paneling, a finely-wrought door and letter box, and a storefront sign written in authentic period lettering.
Training courses and events
The space has now been rechristened Les Ateliers K, and its objective is to transmit the brand’s core values and identity to all its ambassadors. The site has become a magical, legendary backdrop for a wide range of events, as well as training courses for Kusmi Tea staff and partners. Career Teatime Sessions are regular fixtures, and aim to recruit staff via innovative, interactive events.
Les Ateliers K is still founded on the longstanding cornerstones of sharing, new experiences, tasting sessions, and education, all enjoyed in an atmosphere steeped in the rich heritage of Kusmi Tea.
Les Ateliers K is brimming with countless treasures from Kusmi’s history… Found on shelves, in draws, in boxes, and at the back of voluminous cupboards, a whole host of objects from the brand’s beginnings are now showcased throughout the space, much to the delight and astonishment of staff and visitors alike!
A few exciting examples…
Get ready to discover the authentic, historic tea boxes in which Pavel Kousmichoff first presented his products, wrapped up in paper sheets tied with a ribbon and finished with the brand’s seal. Kusmi even reissued a special series of boxes as part of its 150th anniversary celebration, and a few original models can still be admired at 75 Avenue Niel!
Looking around, visitors will also spot a variety of original, eye-catching adverts from back in the day. Each bears a slogan, such as “If you’re looking for good tea, then ask your vendor for a packet of Russian Kusmi Tea,” or “Sophisticated women drink Kusmi Tea.” Some offer “A splendid necklace or pretty balloon for every packet of Kusmi Tea purchased,” and others still proudly proclaim “P.M. Kousmichoff & Sons Tea Company, Est. 1867, Petrograd.”
Other wonders include an ancient set of scales and solid metal weights, a traditional samovar, a black-and-white photo of Viatcheslav and Constantin standing in the space surrounded by workers filling boxes of tea, an impressively large ink pad and stamp, and even a box filled with handwritten letters from Kusmi’s loyal clients across France!
Now you’ve had a peak behind the scenes at Kusmi, you’re sure to never see 75 Avenue Niel in the same way again!
Nb. Who’s interested in winning a guided tour of the space on Avenue Niel?