After a meditation retreat in rural Washington State, I met a turmeric farmer from Hana, Hawaii. We bonded over the life-changing health benefits of turmeric. Two weeks later, I received a gift: 10 pounds of the freshest, juiciest turmeric rhizomes I’d ever touched. After staining every counter in my kitchen orange, I discovered what is known today as “Cup of Sunshine” – an herbal infusion of fresh turmeric, ginger, peppercorn and spices. There was just one problem. At the time, turmeric (and all healing herbs, for that matter) was almost exclusively the realm of well-heeled yogis and new age-y types. This made me ask: Why should something as basic as the use of food as medicine remain so lofty and inaccessible to the average consumer? So, in 2012, I began selling my flagship tea, Cup of Sunshine, out of a mobile tea parlor, housed in a 1969 Wigwam camper. Curious customers from all walks of life approached the trailer with wonder and stayed for a cup of tea. What began as a dreamy experiment quickly turned into a successful lifestyle business, as the concept filled the community’s need for a more modern and imaginative tea company. After 4 successful years serving the St. Louis community, I felt validated that our company’s market potential was much greater, and re-envisioned the brand with the launch of Big Heart Tea Co. in 2017.
Big Heart Tea Co. is a St. Louis-based, woman-owned tea company on a covert mission to make people feel good, with the power of healing herbs. Women get stuff done. As change-makers and action-takers, the boss babes at Big Heart Tea Co. are always working to do what we do better, in support of the people who help us along the way: the communities that embrace us, and the environment we draw our resources from. We’re making our best effort to do the right thing on a holistic level. This means being diligent in everything we do while we grow as a company. One of the things we pay closest attention to is Operations: it has to work in concert with our financial strategies while also staying rooted in our values. So as the retail market asked for more tea bags, we carefully chose tea bags and box liners are non-toxic and compostable. As we expanded our reach, we made sure our local partners stayed signed on for the ride. And when we wanted to expand our products, we were faced with the unethical old ways of doing trade in tea and spice — but we refused ingredients that weren't traceable or coming from a place of health. So even as we've grown, we haven't backed down on putting our beliefs into action. We're not tacking them on as an afterthought or a hashtag. They're infused into who we are. That's how we ensure the highest quality product and service to our customers. We transform our organic, direct trade ingredients into delicious tea with the help of our team, equipment, and data. And along the way, we celebrate milestones, keep on learning, and move beyond our mistakes with big, light hearts.
Fave part is working with amazing, value driven people everyday. The sucky part is that I'm always working or thinking about work.
This work is not for the light hearted. It's hard work and for every amazing achievement there is probably a mountain of failures in the background (this is nice because it keeps you grounded/ humble). Basically, make sure you REALLY love what you are about ready to dedicate your life too. If you don't authentically believe that your product or service can change the world maybe think twice.
We need more examples of strong women leading successful companies with heart and empathy.
I'm inspired by strangers walking on the street, the sweet voice moms have when they're talking to their babies, random acts of loving kindness, all the sensory experiences that come with travel, and the color yellow.
I didn't start a tea company back in 2012. I started a turmeric company. For the first year we only sold one tea - Cup of Sunshine. I'm in love with the herb. Seeing it makes my heart sing. It has a tremendous power to heal too. I like to say it's the best friend you never knew you had.
Just a bigger and better version of who we are today.
I play it cool and dig all jive, that's the reason I stay alive. My motto as I live and learn, is dig and be dug in return. - Langston Hughes
Hot cocoa with turmeric and cinnamon, duh.
Wasn't it super fun spilling the tea with Big Heart Tea? We each have our favorite BHT go to. Lindzi's is the Edith Grey
(topped with a lavender marshmallow
, of course) and Kat is obsessed with a cold brewed Cup of Sunshine
(with a dollop of ooey marshmallow goodness
Find Big Heart Tea
online and on Instagram at @bighearttea.
Who should we chat with next? Are there any womxn owned businesses we should partner with for our Marshmallow of the Month Club?