As you may recall from another article, we call ourselves Tea Guys. Which is not to infer or imply that our bunch is male. Because, heck, it’s not. In fact, we’re a female-majority company. So when we decided to have “guys” be 50% of the company name, we didn’t take it lightly. We use it in the colloquial sense. As in, “Hi Guys!” or “What’s going on, Guys?”
OK, so, exactly who are these Guys? Well, the list naturally starts with our founders Emily and Oliver Rich. They met working in a Boston restaurant early in the new millennium. Emily was a fast-moving server handling the demands of multiple tables, and Oliver was a bartender mixing up cool concoctions that made people relax and smile a bit more. They both fancied tea, and soon realized they fancied each other, too. And the rest as they say, was history.
The pair established Tea Guys in 2002 and began building the brand. Emily became a fast-moving ombudsperson handling the demands of multiple business elements, and Oliver became a tea expert mixing up concoctions that made people relax and smile a bit more. Well, some things never change.
Emily’s penchant for hard work and organization melded beautifully with Oliver’s aptitude for combining flavors, textures and fragrances. And every day, Oliver is still designing uber-yummy blends that offer maximum appeal while Emily is busily ensuring that all the I’s are dotted and all the teas are crossed. (Ha-ha)
Naturally, they couldn’t do all of this great creative and operations work without help. On the actual tea end of things, it’s Mixmaster Chris who takes Oliver’s recipes and scales them up. Using our super-duper, painless-stainless, turn-‘n-churn blender, Chris turns out tons of tasty teas weekly. He loves watching the many different components yield to one another, colors and textures melding, slowly at first, then becoming a homogenous yet distinctive mixture.
Meanwhile, Erin is our Quality Control expert, testing each batch for shelf stability and adherence to our strict standards. It’s Erin’s detailed work that ensures every drop of Tea Guys tea will taste as good as Oliver designed it to taste!
Much of the tea that Chris blends is destined for tins and eventual loose use. Another percentage is bound for containment in convenient “K” style cups. Yet another large allotment heads off to prompt steeping in-house, yielding our innovative Tea Beverage Concentrates. The remainder goes into our flow-friendly bags, and thus it becomes the responsibility of efficient Elizabeth and her helpful hardware, a state of the art bagging machine that flawlessly cranks out an astonishing 3,000+ bags/hour.
Pam, our personable and productive packager, places all that tea and/or concentrates into brightly-labeled boxes, tins and cartons as the case may be. Her keen eye ensures that the right flavors end up in the right packaging each and every time. Lo and behold, they’re ready to go onto store shelves, or to be shipped out our door.
And who’s actually shipping all that tea out the door? Carey, our double-threat shipping wiz and retailing goddess (she is also responsible for keeping our retail store looking fab!). She loves adding bonus bags of tea to each shipment, and hearing the feedback as folks everywhere discover new personal favorites.
So that’s how all 120+ Tea Guys blends get made and are sent happily en route to the many stores, restaurants, schools, hospitals and other food service operations that we serve, along with thousands and thousands of individual tea lovers out there. But there’s a few other Tea Guys who play critical roles in the big-picture process, and they can be somewhat easy to overlook. So let’s not overlook them!
The big smile in the office belongs to Ellie, who is our customer service superstar. Blessed with the gift of turning any potential issue into good deeds, she always keeps the vibe positive.
If you love the jaunty, fresh, slightly-unglued look of our new packaging, thank John, our resident graphic designer. He’s taken the entire Tea Guys line and given it a spiffy new appearance that’s utterly in line with the taste-bud jazzing flavors going on inside.
Managing our local trade accounts is pretty much a full-time job, and that’s where Emily S. comes in. When she’s not out on the roads of New England keeping her tea peeps properly supplied, she doubles as our social media maven and wonder of the web.
Skulking in the shadows of the whole Tea Guys operation is Tim. A true jack-of-some trades, he wields a hammer on some days and rocks the laptop other days. From creative copy to clever carpentry, he gets ‘er done.
That’s our gang as of Autumn 2014. We’re growing like crazy, so don’t be surprised to see the list getting longer soon!
The Tea Guys