gail gastelu, cindi bigelow, bigelow tea, charleston tea plantation, bill hall
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A Day in My Shoes
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Episode 10, Part 1 - A Day in My Shoes - Cindi Bigelow

Monday, June 17th 2013 @ 12:00 AM

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A Day in My Shoes – Episode 10, Part 1 of 4
Cindi Bigelow, President, Bigelow Tea

http://www.bigelowtea.com


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Welcome to A Day in My Shoes – a blog and sometimes vlog as The Tea House Times publisher, Gail Gastelu, puts herself in another person’s shoes for the day – going behind the scenes in the tea industry!  If you are just joining us, go to the Archived entries in the left column to catch up - beginning with January 2013.  OR

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EPISODE 10 PART 1 of 4 - May 13, 2013

 

On Monday, May 13, 2013, I put myself into the shoes of Cindi Bigelow, President of Bigelow Tea.  I must say that it was a fantastic day spent with the most passionate tea people I have met yet.  Being a family business, you can imagine how special it feels to be a part of the day to day operations of their company.

Cindi Bigelow is the 3rd generation President & CEO of family-owned Bigelow Tea.  Socially- and community-minded, she frequently makes appearances speaking to students and industry leaders, sharing insights on business ethics and career development, and has received numerous awards for her years of community service. Favorite pastimes include being with her children, skiing, tennis, yoga and drinking lots of tea.  We will learn more about Cindi and Bigelow Tea a little later on. . .for now let’s discuss the progression of my day in Cindi’s shoes. . .

Bigelow has three locations. Corporate offices are located in Fairfield, Connecticut along with a large production and blending facility.  Their Louisville, Kentucky and Boise, Idaho locations are production facilities.

My visit was to Bigelow Tea in Fairfield.  After passing through a few stages of security, I  entered the building and once inside the lobby, I found a lovely surprise of a very classy sign set up to welcome me by name.  The receptionist had a nametag all ready for me and once in place I was swept away to meet with Elaine Gavoli, Communications Manager.  Elaine organized my day for me to ensure that I would have plenty of one-on-one time with Cindi, time to tour the entire plant, and so much more. It was a fantastic day as you are about to learn. (Before you ask – sorry but tours are not open to the public – you may, however, take a tour at Charleston Tea Plantation, owned by Bigelow Tea – down in Charleston, South Carolina, USA)….

Quick side note on that. . .

If you are wondering about the relationship between Bigelow Tea and Charleston Tea Plantation and its brand American Classic Tea The Bigelow Family purchased the Charleston Tea Plantation and formed a partnership with former owner William Barclay Hall in 2003.  I’m proud to say that I was actually at the Plantation when they had the ribbon cutting all those years ago, and it was an amazing part of history that I feel so fortunate to have experienced.

At that time, the Bigelow's brought sixty-five years of experience in the specialty tea business to the Plantation and the American Classic brand.  Since 2003 the Charleston Tea Plantation has transformed into a true American icon.  American Classic Tea has maintained its faithful fans since its start in the late 1980's and has continued to prosper as a result of consumers wanting to experience premium tea grown and produced in America.  Today the Charleston Tea Plantation offers more than just a cup of fresh tea.  Thanks to the Bigelow Family, the true working tea farm presents a learning experience unlike any other in the country…. I actually led a group tour there years ago and it was an incredible experience …worth repeating.

...If you are also wondering if any Bigelow Teas are made with tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation – The answer is No, Bigelow Teas are not made from any of the green leaf grown or harvested at the Charleston Tea Plantation.  American Classic Teas are the only teas made from the green leaf produced by the Camellia sinensis plants grown on the grounds there.

…that’s all for this week…Next week we will discuss the history of Bigelow Tea and move on to reflect upon the amazing day I spent in their offices.

 

 

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