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FBF: Tiesta Tea

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We’re going to flash back to last Friday today, when I had the privilege of joining the Tiesta Tea team at their 2nd Annual Spread the Warmth event in Chicago.  A dear friend of mine works at Tiesta Tea (the fastest growing specialty tea company in the U.S.) and she is a daily inspiration to me, as well as the master organizer of Spread the Warmth.  Check out her video bio here.

Some Tiesta background: the company specializes in natural loose leaf tea that comes in 45 flavors and five “functions,” – energizer, slenderizer, immunity, relaxer and eternity (anti-aging).  Yes please to all of those, right?  You can drink it, you can bake with it, it’s great.  Two super nice Midwestern guys began the start-up in 2010 and are making waves in the tea industry.  Fun story: Tiesta Tea recently started selling their product in bulk at retailers like Jewel.  Luckily, I have an insider at Jewel and am pleased to be able to relay the following drama:

Tiesta Tea calls Jewel to see if they need another palette of tea (they do not).  A young, apathetic worker in the grocery department who most likely doesn’t know what Tiesta Tea is, answers the phone.  In order to end the call he has foolishly answered, he says yes, sure, they do need another palette, whatevs, send it over, kthxbye.  A few days later, a huge shipment of Tiesta Tea arrives at the Jewel dock.  It is received by the head of the grocery department who immediately becomes furious that he now has to deal with an extra shipment of tea.  Without investigation, he decides Tiesta Tea is to blame and gives my good friend a call on the horn to let her know badly she has messed up.   He then calls my Jewel insider to let him know the situation is “handled,” and my insider patiently informs him that the Tiesta girl is none other than his sister-in-law*.  My Tiesta friend then gets an apology call from the grocery manager and the world begins to spin again.

*BASICALLY

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But back to Spread the Warmth.  Spread the Warmth is an event that gives back to the Chicago community; it sends volunteers out to various locations around the city with thermoses of Tiesta Tea, piles of donated coats, and hundreds of warmth kits.  We were sent to women’s shelters, soup kitchens, underpasses, and churches.  I’m not sure who left warmer – the people at my location with new coats and socks, or me with a full heart (<–this cheese is dairy free).  Check out the following items that were distributed this year:

   + 250 coats
   + 835 water bottles –> donated in part by Jewel-Osco
   + 1230 granola snacks –> donated in part by Jewel-Osco
   + 350 beef jerky packets
   + 392 gloves
   + 450 pairs of socks
   + 200 Sandwiches –> donated in part by Jewel-Osco
   + 200 hygiene kits
   + 300 flashlights
   + 250 hats, scarves & blankets
   + 2,000 cups of tea + 350 total warmth kits
Because of Tiesta Tea, thousands of people in Chicago had a better and warmer Friday night last week, and now will have a warmer winter.  It was such a moving experience for me; I need to add more volunteering to my 2017 goals list!  I’ve already signed up for Spread the Warmth 2018, and if you’re in Chicago and free on January 19th next year, sign up here to join me!

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