Happy New Year!
With 2016 here, we want to take a minute to reflect on our top 10 favorite moments from 2015. What did we do this year? Take a look.
Food Pantry Donations/Tour de Taste
One of our favorite things we did this year was create a marketing initiative that helped our local community. We created a program called #TOURdeTASTE and 10% of all proceeds from that program went to supporting our local Chicago food pantry. Over the year, we were able to purchase over 300 lbs of food for those less fortunate people in Chicago! There is nothing better than using our company to help our community.
Summer Company Outings
We LOVE having fun with the people we work with. It’s one of the best things about starting your own company. You get to pick who you work with. At Tiesta Tea, we’re all lucky to be such good friends. It makes company outings extremely fun. And Whirlyball is awesome!
Moved into a new office
Our first office was a 100 SqFt room in Champaign, Illinois. It was pretty small. The second was a small basement near Wrigley Field. It was pretty fun living next to the stadium, but I’m sure you can imagine how hectic it would get during game time. The third was a 1000 SqFt space in River North of Chicago. In 2015, we were fortunate enough to move into a larger space that’s roughly 2000 SqFt! The first act of business in our new office will be to host Office-warming party with all attendees donating clothes for our clothing drive in order to attend the party.
Debuted in several new chains
We were lucky enough to place our products in new chains across the country. Some big new chains include Savemart and Lucky Markets in California, Giant and Stop N’ Shop on the East Coast, and Piggly Wiggly here in the Midwest. We’re thankful to have new chains team up with us to make loose tea more accessible, affordable and understandable to our fans! If it weren’t for chains like this, we wouldn’t be able to give you loose tea in such an accessible, understandable and affordable way.
The coolest thing we did all year was use our community to help a non-profit company called Extra SpecialTeas launch their first tea shop. Tiesta Tea and our friends and family provided EST with the tea, brewing equipment and more to help them launch a tea cafe that is staffed by individuals with Autism. We threw a 5-year anniversary party into more than a simple party by having a silent auction and $20 door donation. Our silent auction baskets were full of awesome goodies donated from Get Maine Lobster, The Junto Institute, Eli’s Cheesecake and more. Together, we used our community to help a great cause.
5 Year Anniversary
We’re five years old this year! Getting to the five-year mark was no easy task. We’re so thankful for all our customers, friends, family, partners, professors, mentors supporters and others who’ve helped us. Tiesta Tea would not be where it is today if it weren’t for our people. We hope what we’ve done at Tiesta Tea inspires others to chase their dreams. We love what we do and because of that, we won’t work a day in our lives :)
Students Starting Businesses
We frequently visit high schools, colleges and entrepreneur programs across the Illinois to share our story and inspire others to start a business. This year, a student from Wheeling High School (Alma Mater of Chris, Rich, Alex and Patrick) started a business called Snap Clips. Martin continues to use Tiesta Tea for mentorship while starting his new company. After hearing how U of I and UIC helped Tiesta Tea, Martin Dmitrov of Snap Clips started using his school, WHS to help him. WHS granted him some seed money, and his business is officially incorporated and his product should launch in early 2016. We’re proud to inspire and mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs!
We’re so proud to add our 10th member of the team, Joe Scurek. Joe is a graduate for Northern Illinois University and his primary role is to make sure our customers get their tea as soon as possible!
Speaking at IGA
We were honored to be invited to the IGA Global Summit, an event in which we were asked to speak in front of 100+ grocery store owners. We discussed the topic of “Innovation in Grocery” and how grocery stores need to use technology and innovative products “like loose tea” to enhance the grocery store experience.
Sourcing Teas from Germany
We started sourcing and blending our teas from Germany. Why is this important for you? Well, it ensures us that we can offer you the best tea prices at the highest quality standards in the world. We’re working with a 5th generation herbalist/tea blender to help us create all our unique blends.
Without a doubt, you all had a hand in making these possible, so THANK YOU!
Cheers to an amazing 2016,
Dan & Patrick
CEO & President