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Archives for posts tagged ‘Ruth Campbell Bigelow’

This Is What Made Ruth Campbell Bigelow So Special To The World Of Tea

bigelow tea ruth campbell family

Today is a very important day at Bigelow Tea; it’s the birthday of fearless company founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow (perfect timing as it’s also National Women Inventor’s Month…another reason to celebrate Ruth’s accomplishments!). Although Ruth passed away in 1966, this incredible lady is still the source of inspiration for everything that the Bigelow family accomplishes as they continue a third generation of ownership of a tea company that reinvented tea in America. To think it all started in 1945 in Ruth’s kitchen where she diligently mixed and blended and mixed some more until she had a creation of black tea, orange rind and sweet spices that ended up being a source of “Constant Comment” among everyone who sipped this special tea flavor. And here we are today with an ever-growing community (a true #TeaProudly movement is what we call it!) of incredibly devoted tea lovers as passionate as we are about tea!

Honor Ruth today by getting cozy with a cup of “Constant Comment”® and smiling at some of these family stories that show just what Ruth was really made of:bigelow tea constant coment cup and saucer

Back in the early days when Ruth was struggling to get her product to hit it big, a shopkeeper confided to her that he left open a container of “Constant Comment”® because the
customers loved the tea’s amazing aroma. “One whiff and they’re sold!” is what he allegedly told a proud Ruth! From then on, she included an extra whiffing jar in her tea cases so that store owners could keep it next to the cash register, where a sniff led to a sale!

Another famous story: The company moved from New York to Connecticut in 1955, and hurricanes almost completely destroyed the building, leading to the Bigelow family’s own “Connecticut Tea Party”! But Ruth and Co. didn’t get knocked down- with her guidance, they got right back up and rebuilt!

Ruth is the one who said it best herself in this letter from 1945 that sums up what gave her the strength to build up a business out of nothing but sheer grit, determination and imagination – the lady was truly ahead of her time, so take a moment to read it!

Fast forward to 2017– one tea bag a time, Ruth’s kitchen creation has become an American institution with over 130 flavors of black, green, oolong, and herbal teas. So today take a big sip from your mug in Ruth’s honor!

How will you celebrate Ruth’s birthday? Tell us and tag #TeaProudly!

Bigelow Tea Celebrates National Family Week

bigelow-tea-family-week

Family is everything at Bigelow Tea and for over 70 years, three generations have been dedicated to producing the most beautiful cup of tea, a tradition that started in 1945 in Ruth Campbell Bigelow’s kitchen in New York City.  Family tradition is something we know about so during this week of Thanksgiving (and well, every day of every week!), let’s together celebrate National Family Week.

bigelow-tea-constant-commentLet’s be honest, as much as we love a day filled with turkey, football, parades and cozy weather, don’t our actual favorite moments come down to the conversations, hugs, and laughs while sharing a cup of tea during this holiday time? If you agree, why not sit back with a slice of pie and a cup of tea (“Constant Comment®” always goes well with a conversation), and cherish those moments and this special time you can spend with family.   And when we say family, we also mean our community of tea lovers. Together, we not only appreciate sharing a cup, but we all have a love (and true passion) for tea, right? This is truly #TeaProudly (link here to teaproudly blog entry) so this National Family Week, we’re sending warm wishes out to our extended Bigelow Family—our amazing employees, our fantastic growers and vendors and of course to each and every tea drinker everywhere! Cheers to a wonderful week!

Bigelow Tea: Three Generations of Family Memories

bigelow-tea-family

Over 70 years ago Bigelow Tea humbly began in Ruth Campbell Bigelow’s kitchen in New York. Bigelow Tea has been a family affair since day one and continues today under the leadership of Ruth’s granddaughter, president & CEO Cindi Bigelow. Three generations of Bigelows have worked to build their family legacy and passion for tea and here are a few stories to prove it:

  • Bigelow would not be America’s #1 Specialty Tea Company today if not for the hard work Ruth, her husband David Sr., and son David Jr. put into the early days of the company. Each night David Sr. and David Jr. would sit in their Manhattan home and hand paint the two ladies on the original packaging to give it a special touch!
  • The holidays are always time for celebration at Bigelow Tea. David and Eunice Bigelow, Bigelow Tea Co-Chairs, fondly remember their two daughters Cindi and Lori helping to hand out Christmas gifts to the Bigelow Tea employees when they were young girls.  David and Eunice still have the girl’s matching black vests and red skirts!
  • While Cindi and Lori Bigelow were young, Eunice Bigelow stayed at home but still conducted all of the tea tastings from her kitchen. Cindi remembers coming home from school to dozens of cups in the kitchen filled with the day’s varieties to taste. It’s no wonder Cindi grew up dreaming about working at Bigelow Tea one day!
  • Nothing could keep Cindi from planning and hosting the first ever Bigelow Tea Community Challenge twenty five years ago. This was the only race that Cindi has ever run in and a day she will never forget. Bigelow Tea has donated almost a million dollars to charity since the inaugural race in 1988.

These memories are important building blocks in the Bigelow Tea company history. For over 70 years the family has been passionate about tea and continues to be personally involved in every aspect of running the company, quality and care we can taste in every cup of Bigelow tea!

Eunice and David Bigelow Recognized With Lifetime Achievement Award

bigelow familyBack in 1945, when Bigelow Tea first started, Ruth Campbell Bigelow could only afford a single-color label for her tea. Each night, her son, David, Jr., would help his father hand paint the two women on the original label. Then, in the morning, they would put the tea into the family station wagon and sell it store by store. David, Jr. has surely come a long way since painting labels. Today, he and his wife, Eunice, are co-chairmen of the company and were recently recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Specialty Food Association at its Summer Fancy Food Show on June 27 in New York City.

While Bigelow Tea attributes its beginnings to Ruth and the flagship tea “Constant Comment®”, it was her son, David, and his wife, Eunice, who paved the way for the growth of the U.S. specialty tea market. David, with Eunice’s unwavering support, led the company with a spirit of determination to its current prominence as the country’s #1 specialty tea company. His integrity, intelligence and kindness also helped form the brand’s personality and its success.

“All of us at Bigelow Tea could not be more proud to see this Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed on my parents,” said Cindi Bigelow, third-generation president and CEO of the company. “They are admired not only for the significant impact they have had on the specialty tea industry, but for the positive influence they have had on lives of the thousands of employees whose privilege it has been to work alongside them during Bigelow Tea Company’s more than 70 years. Their passion, creativity and guidance are without measure,” Cindi remarked.

bigelow tea family

In addition to making Bigelow Tea the U.S. industry leader in specialty teas, Eunice and David’s more recent accomplishments include their significant 2003 additional investment in South Carolina’s 127-acre Charleston Tea Plantation. It was their dream to restore this unique site, which is America’s largest tea garden, and share this vibrant piece of Americana for all to enjoy. Today, the beautiful Charleston Tea Plantation has become the standard bearer for the long and illustrious American tea story and welcomes 70,000 visitors each year — a suitable landmark to complement the profound impact their efforts made on the consumer tea market.

So raise a cup to Eunice and David Bigelow. Without their ingenuity, vision or drive, Bigelow Tea might not be celebrating its 70th year. It’s been the labor of a lifetime, a labor truly worthy of a Lifetime Achievement Award.

It’s All in the Family: Bigelow Tea Celebrates National Family Month

Bigelow Tea celebrates National Family Month.

Courtesy of Familymonth.net.

“The family is the nucleus of civilization.”

Will and Ariel Durant

Family is the most precious and powerful force of human life. It is the safe harbor where support, comfort and unconditional love is given and received — the springboard from which children grow, learn and succeed. With this in mind, National Family Month® is celebrated annually from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day. Established by KidsPeace®, one of America’s oldest and largest not-for-profit organizations serving children and families nationwide, National Family Month is all about giving kids peace by affirming the family. This year, the national celebration of the American family will focus on three themes: grandparents, foster families and crisis prevention. In recent years, the role of child caregiver has shifted dramatically from parents to grandparents, aunts, uncles and foster parents. These men and women are being honored for their contribution to building strong families, ensuring that children enjoy and flourish in a safe environment.

At Bigelow Tea, we revere family. Our company, founded over sixty years ago by Ruth Campbell Bigelow, is lovingly tended by generations of Bigelows. We embrace our employees and their families as part of the extended Bigelow family, and are deeply committed to strengthening family ties — by sharing traditional activities as simple as a return to the family picnic on a lovely Sunday afternoon!  We’re also dedicated to that larger family — the community. Enthusiastic participants in our community, we organize events like the annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge — which benefits many organizations, such as the Fairfield YMCA. The entire Bigelow team is also active in dynamic family-oriented programs like Habitat for Humanity. So please join us in commemorating the single most important unit — the family!

Women’s History Month: Reflection and Celebration

March is National Women’s History Month, a distinctive time for celebrating the women who have achieved so much, but perhaps more importantly an opportunity to savor and reflect on their gifts and lives. No one understands “savor and reflection” like Bigelow Tea, and what better way to move beyond the facts and connect with people than with tea and conversation. We know that there is a grand history of women’s achievement through the centuries: from Anne Bradstreet, the first published American author in 1650, to Eileen Collins, the first commander of a space shuttle 350 years later. But facts alone don’t tell the story, so National Women’s History Month is an opportunity to move beyond facts and figures, and reflect on the bonds within ourselves to these notable women and their lives.

Ms. Ruth Campbell Bigelow
Ms. Ruth Campbell Bigelow

We at Bigelow Tea have many women to thank. Of course, every time you sit down with a cup of our tea, remember that Ms. Ruth Campbell Bigelow started the company over 60 years ago. Her love of tea (and appreciation of the history of women in Colonial America) helped her create Constant Comment, and the rest, as they say, is history. A delicious history indeed. Being the son of such a visionary woman was a privilege for David C. Bigelow, and he wrote about it in his recently published book My Mother Loved Tea. And with upholding connections to the past, Cindi Bigelow, daughter of David C. Bigelow and granddaughter of Ms. Ruth Campbell Bigelow, is President of Bigelow Tea. An extremely hands-on and genuine President, Cindi has brought something intrinsically female to her position as she boosts appreciation for Bigelow Tea. A salute to all, in recognizing National Women’s History Month.

Cindi Bigelow
Cindi Bigelow