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Thank You To Our Troops, Every Day

Tomorrow, Veteran’s Day, is a day near and dear to the hearts of everyone who is part of the Bigelow Tea family. We believe strongly in supporting the troops who do so much for our country. In 2009, Bigelow Tea created the Tea for the Troops program, which features customized packaging filled with 100 percent American-grown tea produced at the company’s Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina.

Created exclusively for the troops and not for retail sale, this special tea is a way for the company to thank those who serve and have served our nation with a truly American product that provides soldiers a taste of home. From Iraq and Afghanistan to USO facilities in airports where troops stay on their way to and from deployment, over four million tea bags have been delivered to troops across the globe. This special tea is also available to veterans in VFW chapters and VA hospitals.

With more than 180 locations around the world, the USO has been connecting America’s service members to family, home and country for over 75 years. To help build awareness for the USO and the great programs it offers our troops and their families throughout their service, Bigelow Tea created American Breakfast Tea—a line of robust black teas naturally formulated with 50% more caffeine than the average cup of tea. In 2015, Bigelow Tea became an official sponsor of the USO and began working with select retailers to donate portions of tea sales to USO centers serving local military communities.

The Bigelow family is proud of the small part they play in supporting these amazing men and women who work to keep our country safe. “Tea is a universal beverage and one in which relationships can be built.  It is a way to say that all of us back home are thinking of you and we want to thank you for all you are doing to bring peace to our world.” –Cindi Bigelow, president and CEO of Bigelow tea.

This Veteran’s Day, take a moment to honor all the men and women who have served in uniform. If you are a veteran from generations past or future, we celebrate you and thank you and your families for all you do for our country.

Bigelow Tea Proudly Supports USA Troops On Memorial Day and Every Day!

bigelow american classic

Memorial Day is not only the official kickoff of summer, but more importantly, it is a time to remember and appreciate all of our armed servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our great country.

At Bigelow Tea we have a long standing history supporting our troops including our official sponsorship of the USO. This is a continuation of our Tea for the Troops program, which third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow says is “our way of saying thank you to the men and women fighting for our country.” Since the program started in 2009, almost 4 million bags of Bigelow tea have been sent to bases in Korea, Iraq, Germany and Afghanistan.bigelow tea memorial day

Cindi and Bigelow Tea Project Manager Tim Richmond (pictured), an Iraq war veteran, cycle alongside service men and women in Warrior Week’s Ride 2 Recovery Memorial which Bigelow became a sponsor of in 2015. Cindi and Tim will do the same this year along with a total of ten Bigelow Tea employees.  Additionally, the welcome reception at Military Village is presented by Bigelow Tea.  Later in June Bigelow Tea will sponsor, with founder Jason Redman, The Combat Wounded Coalition which will be holding their 7th Jumping for a Purpose skydiving event for combat wounded warriors in conjunction with the USO’s Patriotic Festival at the Virginia Beach Ocean front June 3rd – 5th. Warrior jumpers will skydive onto the ocean front between 1st and 4th street all 3 days. This event empowers wounded warriors to overcome fear through skydiving, which helps them realize they can overcome the other challenges and obstacles they may face in life as a wounded warrior

“At Bigelow Tea, whose company mission it is to enrich life’s everyday moments by infusing passion into all we do, we are grateful to our service men and women, to Jeff Hill and the USO for allowing us to be even a small piece of everything they do to improve the lives of our beautiful troops,” said Cindi.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!

Bigelow puts on Tea Time for the Troops

The following article by Rita Papazian details Bigelow Tea’s effort to send nearly 2 million tea bags overseas and to airports where U.S. troops are either leaving for or returning from deployment in the Middle East.

Three friends who were in the 1978 graduating class of Staples High School have come together thirty years later to share their talents and skills to bring a little bit of  “home”  to the troops fighting wars on foreign soil.

When Cindi Bigelow, president of Bigelow Tea, headquartered on Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield, joined staffers in creating a project to show that the people back home are remembering the military soldiers protecting this country’s freedoms, she called upon her two high school buddies, Duke Saltus, a painter and graphic artist, and Jeff Hill, regional vice president of the USO (United Service Organizations) to help her with the project.

R.C. Bigelow, Inc., a company founded by Cindi Bigelow’s paternal grandmother Ruth Campbell Bigelow in 1945, is shipping two million tea bags, packaged in 100,000 custom-designed boxes to troops in the far corners of the world. Bigelow’s American Classic Tea is from the company’s own 127-acre Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island, just south of Charleston, S.C. The Bigelow family purchased the tea plantation, which is open to the public, in 2003. The American Classic tea was wrapped and packaged in a Bigelow manufacturing plant in Louisville, Ky.

“We wanted to bring a little bit of warmth and a touch of home,” said Bigelow, in a telephone conversation last week. She recalled that she had recently been standing in an airport in Atlanta next to three soldiers when a couple came up to the soldiers to thank them for their service to the country.

She said the soldiers appeared really touched by the expression of gratitude from two strangers. Observing that brief interaction between the two strangers and the soldiers brought home the importance of the role the military plays and the importance of folks back home acknowledging the role.

Bigelow said it was appropriate to send the tea to the soldiers since the tea comes from the largest commercial growers in the U.S. and is a gesture of “from our soil to yours,” said Bigelow, noting the tea would be delivered to soldiers in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

The custom-designed boxes of the American Classic Tea are packaged only for the troops and not available for sale in those boxes. The American Classic Tea continues to be available in markets near its southern plantation.

The beautifully designed box of 20 tea bags, offers a patriotic, red, white and blue graphic set against a beige background with an image of a white tea cup with the tea bag label sporting portions of the American flag. On the side of the box a ribbon of red, white and blue includes the words, “Thank You For Your Service.” Beneath the box a message reads: Bigelow is proud to serve those who serve our country.

A message on the side of the box offers an expression of appreciation from the Bigelow family and all the employees at Bigelow Tea for the military’s “hard work and commitment to making the world a safer place.”

Designer Saltus, a life-long Westport resident, designed the box with another Staples graduate Doug Connor (Class of 1980) of Madison, with whom he has partnered on other commissioned work.

The Bigelow project brought special meaning for Saltus whose son Jake, served in the military from 2004 and 2007. He completed two tours of duty in Iraq and Saltus said fortunately his son returned safely.

Saltus recalled the years during his son’s duty when he would send home photos of his serving in Iraq. “You tend to become very patriotic”¦He saw a lot of action.”

USO Vice President Hill is no stranger to military service. He served in the special operations division for the Navy for 20 years and for the past seven years for the USO, a congressionally chartered, private, nonprofit organization. A bridge between the general public and the military, the USO relies on the generosity of individuals and corporations to support USO activities.

Hill said while many individuals and organizations want to donate goods to the troops “getting things to the front is difficult. I know how to get things moved,” said the Staples graduate, who now lives in Virginia. That is why when Bigelow came up with the idea, she called her good friend to help her get the boxes of tea to the troops.

Hill said the 100,000 boxes of tea will be shipped to 135 USO centers worldwide and distributed to the soldiers. Some of the tea he said would be re-packaged in large USO-To-Go containers and bundled with other donated goods for the troops.

“The troops love tea,” said Hill, describing his long-time high school friend as “an incredible individual¦ a very smart, a real worker.”

Hill said, “It’s been a while since I’ve been in Westport. I’ve been out seeing the world.”

First Flush FesTEAval coming May 16th!

The Third Annual First Flush FesTEAval is right around the corner! The Charleston Tea Plantation and The Bridge at 105.5 are proud to host one of Charleston’s premier events on Saturday, May 16th, from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Join Bigelow Tea in celebrating the start of American Classic’s harvest season, and bring the whole family for a fantastic day of live music, tasty foods, a ton of games for the kids, and over 40 local artists from the Folly Beach Artist Guild — and, of course, ALL of the American Classic Iced Tea you can drink!

Bigelow Tea First Flush FesTEAval

This year the Charleston Tea Plantation welcomes an outstanding entertainment lineup to the First Flush Stage. Headlining is Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins, performing his classic hits as well as songs from his vibrant new album, honeydew (released in 2008 by Vanguard Records). Other outstanding performers for the FesTEAval will include Alternate Routes, Jay Clifford, Sons of Bill, and Wadmalaw Island’s own New Bethlehem Baptist Church Heywood Jubilee Choir, and Edith L. Frierson Steppers.

The First Flush FesTEAval will also have an array of everyone’s favorite foods, served up by Hometeam BBQ, Savory Market, M&C Catering, T&T Original Kettle Corn, Charleston Festival Foods, Charleston Cookie Company, Chick-Fil-A, Island Soulfood Café, Irvin House Vineyards, and much more!

Besides being such a fun event, the First Flush FesTEAval is also a unique experience for everyone, celebrating the first harvest of America’s ONLY tea garden. First Flush is defined as the escalated growth of new leaves on tea plants in the spring, after a winter of rest. The FesTEAval is a celebration of harvesting that “first flush”. The Charleston Tea Plantation invites you to experience the production of what avid tea drinkers know as the most unique, fresh, and amazing cup of tea — American Classic’s First Flush.

Be sure to MARK YOUR CALENDAR for Saturday, May 16th!