Brewing Success: Iona University Alumna on Passion, Authenticity, and the Art of Tea Entrepreneurship

Alumni Success, Entrepreneurship

“Be authentic and true to yourself and your passions, build and invest in developing strong and complementary relationships, and never stop learning,” said Iona alumna Leslie Allicks ’95MS, reflecting upon words of wisdom to share with the Gael community.

Allicks is the founder and CEO of The Tea Experience, a tea party catering business that has an online presence for the sale of over 35 organic loose-leaf teas, tea-themed accessories, and a tea of the month subscription box program called “SimpliciTEA.”

In recognition of her success, the small business owner was recently highlighted on a WPIX11 segment, “It’s a G Thing,” which shared her founder’s story. You can watch the segment here.

Inspired by her late father and ancestral history, her career expanded into entrepreneurship by launching a full-service teahouse, Lola’s Tea House, which evolved into her mobile tea catering business, The Tea Experience.

“I love to educate customers on the various types of loose-leaf teas, the healthful benefits of tea, and how to make a good-tasting cup of tea,” Allicks said.

The Bronx native earned her master's degree in Health Services Administration in 1995 from Iona. Feeling prepared with the business and professional acumen needed to further her career, The Tea Experience founder has a diverse 30+ year career. Allicks’ current career as a small-business owner also includes being an adjunct professor in the Allied Health Department at Monroe College and a Clinical Regulatory Manager at Healthfirst (a Medicare/Medicaid HMO). Motivated by expanding her knowledge and reach within the healthcare industry, Allicks’ career spans the network as a small business owner, healthcare executive, registered nurse, leader, saleswoman, and healthcare consultant.

“The business and administrative courses that I took at Iona helped me to develop the skill and ability to lead and manage my businesses over the years,” she said.

Learn more about The Tea Experience