New business fits Western to a ‘tea’

Paul Mayne // Western News

Andrea Gittens knows everything there is to know about tea. After all, the supervisor of Western’s latest café, Argo Tea, did go to Argo UniversiTea to learn the ins and outs of the tea business.

Located in the D. B. Weldon Library (in the former home of Quotes Café), this Argo Tea location is the Chicago-based company’s first venture into the Canadian market. Gittens said the campus community is going to be excited about the all-natural tea products they can peruse – from simple black tea to vegan bubble tea.

“We’re coffee-ed out – but I don’t think we’re done with tea yet,” said Gittens, adding you can have a different tea every day of the month and not have the same one twice. “We have a lot of blended teas that are just so palatable and all natural.”


Founded in 2003, Argo Tea first hit Western’s radar about three years ago when Kevin McCabe, Associate Director of Campus Operations, and others were at the airport in Chicago. Already on the lookout for something new, they spotted Argo Tea.

“We checked it out and it looked interesting. We were back six months later and saw others and the lines were amazing, as was the product,” said McCabe, who invited Argo Tea founder Arsen Avakian to Western to discuss the possibilities of a university location. “This is an exciting time. Tea is the biggest growing beverage seller and we want to give customers what they want. We think this is the first of many to come to Canada.”

While Argo Tea primarily sells a variety of hot and cold tea-based drinks – infused with fruits, flowers, spices and herbs – they also include a selection of coffees and what they refer to as ‘SpecialTea’ food and baked goods.

Now open, Argo Tea is holding a grand opening from 12-3 p.m. Oct. 12.

Argo Tea is one of a handful of Hospitality Services updates hitting campus this fall, including:

  • The Toronto-based Quesada is now open at Lucy’s in Somerville House, serving up burritos, tacos, quesadillas, taco salads and more;
  • Renovations at Einstein’s (Natural Sciences Centre) and Talbot Eatery (Talbot College) have expanded each location’s menu offerings. Einstein’s now offers fresh, hot sandwiches along with Doi Chaang Coffee (Beyond Fair Trade); Talbot features a hot breakfast, pasta bar and refreshed Pizza Pizza.
  • Residence dining at Saugeen-Maitland will be a whole new experience with renovations and updates to the kitchen, servery and dining hall giving it the same look and feel as that of the recently constructed Ontario Hall; and
  • The Hangry app is coming to Western on Sept. 19 for Lucy’s and the University Community Centre Subway. The mobile app will allow you to order and pay for your food online using a credit card or the Western Meal Plan, effectively skipping the long line. Just pick up your food and go.