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Archives for the ‘Bigelow Family Story’ Category

Bigelow Tea Shares Favorite Family Stories On Ruth Campbell Bigelow’s Birthday

 

ruth bigelow bigelow tea

 

Today, Bigelow Tea celebrates the 120th anniversary of the birth of founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow, and also celebrates her remarkable achievements as a visionary American entrepreneur.  Although Ruth passed away in 1966, the little company she started in her kitchen in 1945 continues to thrive in its third generation of family ownership. “Constant Comment“®, the company’s first tea variety, remains a best seller, even as offerings have expanded to include more than 130 tea flavors. Wow!

The entire Bigelow Tea extended family, which celebrated the company’s 70th anniversary in 2015, is proud to honor Ruth’s legacy by producing the highest-quality teasserving the community and operating as good environmental and corporate citizens. Here are a few favorite Bigelow family stories that exemplify Ruth’s signature can-do spirit:

  • Inspired by a Colonial recipe, Ruth experimented in her kitchen until she emerged with a blend of black tea, orange rind and sweet spices that she was convinced would be a winner. Indeed, it was the source of “constant comment”among her friends, and Bigelow Tea was born.
  • Ruth had an “aha” moment in those tough early days when a shop keeper said that he had opened a container of “Constant Comment”®to allow customers to smell the tea’s wonderful aroma. “One whiff and they’re sold!” he said. So Ruth made sure that every case of tea came with an extra whiffing jar that retailers could keep next to the cash register.
  • Soon after the company moved from New York to Connecticut in 1955, Bigelow Tea almost met a watery end when back-to-back hurricanes flooded the new building. But once again, Ruth and David rallied and rebuilt!bigelow tea constant comment

Stories like these are wonderful reminders of how far Bigelow Tea has come and the traditions that keep it going. Ruth would love knowing that a contemporary of hers, Gladys Hooper, wished for cake and a cup of tea when she recently celebrated her 113th birthday. Tea is truly timeless!

How The World Looked In 1945 When Bigelow Tea Began

bigelow tea history tin
In 1945, World War II ended, the Yalta Agreement was signed and Bigelow Tea was born! As Bigelow has been celebrating 70 years as America’s family tea blenders, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on the company’s auspicious beginning and the many historical milestones ushered in during the same year. Here’s a snapshot of events and statistics from 1945, when Ruth Campbell Bigelow adapted a Colonial recipe to create “Constant Comment®”:

  • The first German war crimes trial began in Nuremburg.
  • Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam’s independence from France.
  • The average American salary was $2,400.
  • The cost of a gallon of gas was 15 cents.
  • Ruth and her husband, David Bigelow, were making a living blending and packaging seasonings that they sold in New York City. They wanted to expand their product offerings, and Ruth’s hunch that the American market was ready for a more flavorful tea than the bland brew available at the time proved correct.bigelow tea ruth bigelow
  • A July 1945 article in the New York Herald Tribunereported the following about “Constant Comment,”®according to a recent account in Connecticut Explored magazine:  “One of
    Mrs. Bigelow’s Park Avenue friends was giving an afternoon party, and it was suggested she try the new blend. Not a word was said to the guest regarding its novelty, yet everyone spoke of the tea’s aroma, its flavor—there was ‘constant comment.’ A good name, why not? Labels were made and the tea was hurried to the stores where it is selling at around 75 cents for the two-and-one-quarter ounce jar. Expensive? But here’s a tea so flavorful that three-quarters of a teaspoon make six bracing cups of aromatic spiciness.”

Today, “Constant Comment”® remains one of Bigelow Tea’s best-loved flavors in a line that has expanded to include more than 120 varieties. Just ask Instagrammer @Scot30, who says “Constant Comment”® is his all-time favorite tea. Enjoy the aroma, taste and nostalgia in every cup of Bigelow Tea!

 

Merry Christmas From Bigelow Tea

bigelow tea christmas

Best wishes for a Christmas that’s merry, warm and bright, from the Bigelow family to yours!

 

Bigelow Tea Celebrates Founder Ruth C. Bigelow’s Birthday!

 

btthurs_Bigelow Tea Wishes Your Family A Happy Thanksgiving!

Ruth C. Bigelow with husband David E. Bigelow Sr.

Sunday, February 8th, is a very special day as Bigelow Tea celebrates the birth of founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow! One hundred and nineteen years ago in Providence, R.I., the indomitable Ruth was born! Later, as an adult, Ruth took a great leap of faith in 1945 to launch Bigelow Tea based on a single tea she created in her kitchen: “Constant Comment®.”  What a legacy to commemorate as the Bigelow family also marks the company’s 70th anniversary this year!

Ruth will be forever remembered as a visionary whose passion for quality, family and American ingenuity continues to fuel the Bigelow Tea mission. How proud she would be to know that the business continues to be family-owned and is now America’s number one specialty tea company with more than 120 varieties blended and packaged right here in the USA!

It took determination, grit and hard work for Ruth and husband David Bigelow Sr. to achieve their version of the American dream. Driven by the belief that the country was ready for a more flavorful tea, and inspired by a Colonial recipe, Ruth spent weeks blending black tea, orange rind and sweet spices to perfect  “Constant Comment®.” It remains one of America’s best-loved teas and still generates lots of conversation, as @sharoncady shared in this heartwarming tweet:  “If friendships had a smell, ours would be #ConstantComment tea!”

Happy birthday to Ruth and her beloved Bigelow Tea … here’s to many more generations as America’s Family Tea Blenders!

 

Bigelow Tea Community Challenge Fundraiser 2014 Big Success

 

Thank you to everyone involved from the team at Bigelow Tea who did an unbelievable amount of planning all year, to the sponsors, community volunteers and of course all of the kids, runners and walkers who participated!! All of the charities who will be recipients of the $130,000 we raised are incredibly thankful as we all are.  Thanks once again to all!!

Cindi Bigelow’s Step-by-Step Secret to Brewing the Perfect Cup of Bigelow Tea

How do you brew the perfect cup of tea? Cindi Bigelow, President & CEO of Bigelow Tea recently collaborated with the HooplaHa network channel to bring you a tea mini-series, including How to Brew the Perfect Cup – Tea Time with Cindi. Cindi reviews a few step-by-step tea making tips like the importance of using fresh water, not over-boiling the water, covering the tea cup as it’s steeping, and…. please don’t squeeze that tea bag. Watch the clip and find your answer to a top tea question—are you supposed to add the tea bag or water to the mug first?  Find out exactly how the Bigelow family makes their tea in this video!

It’s A Cross Country Road Trip With #BigTeaBar (Bigelow Tea)

 

#bigeteabar Bigelow Tea

You’ve probably had Bigelow Tea on the road before … but this is something else altogether! In keeping with the entrepreneurial spirit of the Bigelow family, Bigelow Tea is making a cross-country trip in a super-cool customized retro 1977 Air Stream travel trailer. Its mission? To share tea and talk with tea lovers all over the U.S.! Now that’s a road trip of epic proportions!

The Bigelow Mobile Tea Bar will hit the highway starting in Boston on September 21st and work its way across the U.S., offering fresh-brewed samples of old favorites, like “Constant Comment”® and new blends too. Tea fans and newbies will have the opportunity to sip, chat and learn more about Bigelow Tea and the amazing Bigelow family story.

Timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary celebration of the company’s founding, the Bigelow Mobile Tea Bar will roll into street fairs, festivals and select retailers all across the country. It will also offer visitors a photo opportunity to share a cup with “Biggie,” Bigelow Tea’s walking mug mascot and post their photos and experiences on Facebook and Twitter.

After it’s first stop in Boston, look for the Bigelow Mobile Tea Bar in New York, Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, LA, Austin, Houston, Atlanta and Tampa. Check out our schedule of stops so you don’t miss us!

Look for the Bigelow Mobile Tea Bar in your neck of the woods … and send a shout-out on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #bigteabar if you see it coming your way!

UPDATE: Check out this great article and pictures from the Fairfield HamletHub….a great day had by all:


A Well Deserved Dedication For Mr. Bigelow!

family mr bigelowI do not have the words to share with you how special yesterday was for my family.  My father, David C. Bigelow had the most well deserved surprise when he arrived at the school he went to from 1940 to 1944, Avon Old Farms School, for he discovered that we had dedicated the Learning Center in his name.  My grandmother, Ruth, had worked with the founder of the school,  Mrs. Riddle, to allow my father to go for free (they had lost everything during the depression).  It was to there that he truly attributed his ability to work with people (he was on the student council and was elected President of the class).

The learning center was done beautifully, having many framed photos and passages that my father had written over the years.  He was completely taken aback and so very humbled.  But then again, my father is a humble man.  The David C. Bigelow Learning Center-a special building to  help young students learn, grow and take the world to a better place….yes that is the spirit of my father.  It was a great day and one we all remember for a very long time….

Cindi Bigelow

 

(Image courtesy of http://www.seshuphotography.com)

Bigelow Tea Celebrates CT Rides Week

Bigelow Tea CT Rides weekConnecticut Governor Dannel Malloy issued a proclamation declaring that May 12th through May 16th was CT Rides Week and encouraged all solitary drivers to try alternative methods of transportation when traveling or working within the State of Connecticut–even if it was for just one day that week. Drivers were asked to take advantage of various ride sharing options including bus, train, carpool or vanpool.

By visiting www.CTrides.com/week, commuters were able to sign up to participate and join others who also shared a ride during CT Rides Week. As part of the week’s challenge, CT Rides was at Bigelow Tea on Monday May 12th to kick off the week and to encourage employees to sign up registering for CT Rides. All those who signed up during this visit were eligible to enter a drawing to win a $25 gift card for Applebee’s (just for Bigelow Tea employees) and then a statewide raffle for a $100 gift card.

As part of the second phase of the Bigelow Tea event, CT Rides was back out on Friday May 16th. This was “Ride Your Bike to Work Day.” All those who actually carpooled, biked, walked, used the train or took the bus during the week were eligible for a second raffle featuring a new mountain bike. Everyone who participated in “Ride Your Bike to Work Day” was also eligible for a raffle of bike helmets. Paul Caponera won the bike and Jim Gildea and Claudia Ardouni won bike helmets.

The week was very successful on a number of different fronts. Nearly 20 percent of Bigelow Tea employees participated in CT Rides Week, and the company continues to be strong partners with CT Rides. More importantly, the week provided a benefit to the environment and the Earth. Sharing a ride can have a huge impact on Connecticut’s air quality.  An individual switching a 20-mile round trip commute to public transportation can decrease annual CO2 emissions by 4,800 pounds per year. Additionally, sharing a ride can afford a variety of benefits to commuters including saving money on the cost of maintaining personal vehicles and the cost of parking, providing some protection from the rising cost of fuel and a less stressful commute.

 

-Jim Gildea, Fairfield, CT Plant Manager

 

Cindi Bigelow Shares a Memorable Evening At The School for Ethical Education’s Ethics Awards Dinner

cindi speaking 2014

The other night, I had the most wonderful opportunity to speak to high school students from all over Connecticut who won very special Laws of Life Awards for ethics in action.  The students were chosen based on essays they had written from experiences in their life that really taught them to be the best they can possibly be.

I, too, was honored to receive an Ethics in Action Award and be their keynote speaker.  During my address I shared with them experiences in my life that helped shape me to be the person I am today, both personally and professionally.  I shared many stories of my father who helped define who I am today.

My favorite story that I shared was when I first started working at Bigelow Tea.  I had just gotten my MBA and was feeling very excited about working and all the changes I would be able to make (in my opinion, to make the company better).  My father walked in after my first three days and asked me how things were going.  I looked up at him proudly and stated, “Fantastic! I changed this, I’ve done this, I’ve accomplished this. “He smiled nicely and then said to me, “I noticed you have some envelopes outside in the out basket,” (yes, we did have out-baskets back then), “and they’re missing some stamps.”  I said, “Oh, I brought in some bills to mail out.” And then he said, “Well, if you don’t put stamps on your envelopes, why should the other employees put stamps on theirs?  So, why don’t you go out there, grab your envelopes and put some stamps on them.” And then he looked at me and walked out the door.

I stood there for a minute or two, my head spinning.  That wasn’t how I anticipated my first business conversation with my father to go, but to this day, almost thirty years later, I have never forgotten what he said and I never will forget what that stood for.

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to share that with the students and I think that simple little story really resonated with them, as it did me, about the importance of ethics in business and ethics in life.

Spending time with exceptional students at the School for Ethical Education’s Ethics Awards Dinner and sharing some special stories in my life made for a memorable evening.

 

Cindi Bigelow