In 1995 my late partner Tomislav Podreka and I founded a specialty tea company which seemed to have been fated as much leading up to the formation of the company happened accidentally. It felt as if we were being steered or guided toward our destiny. As we were both quite bookish and fond of word play, it didn’t take long for us to decide upon the name SerendipiTea.
The origins of the word Serendipity:
Definition: Accidental sagacity; the faculty of making fortunate discoveries of things you were not looking for.
The term is derived from an old name for the island of Sri Lanka, Serendib (also spelled Serendip). Coined by English writer Horace Walpole in 1754, the term refers to the heroes of a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, who wandered freely and were forever making fortunate discoveries by chance through accidents and sagacity.
Encyclopedia Britannica informs us that “the name Serendib is a corruption of the Sanskrit compound Siṃhaladvīpa (“Dwelling-Place-of-Lions Island”). The Arabs are thought to have borrowed the name from Indians with whom they traded. The name, Arabic in origin, was recorded in use at least as early as a.d. 361 and for a time gained considerable currency in the West. It is best known to speakers of English through the word serendipity, which has come to mean “happy accidents”.
Tomislav visited Sri Lanka over 15 years ago but I wasn’t able to go. In those days one of us had to stay home to “mind the biz”. Traveling to Sri Lanka has been high on my To Do list for many years but the opportunity hadn’t presented itself. Not until recently. Gail Gastelu owner/publisher of the much acclaimed The Tea House Times, was invited by the Sri Lanka Tea Board (see also http://www.pureceylontea.com) to cover the 150th year anniversary of Sri Lankan tea. Thanks to a gracious invitation from Gail to accompany her on this extraordinary assignment, I will be joining her and we will soon be in the land of my company’s namesake. It's an enormous honor to be involved.
Join us on this journey ~ stay tuned for more posts!
~ Linda Villano, SerendipiTea.com
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LINDA VILLANO co-founded SerendipiTea.com in 1995 with Tomislav Podreka. With a passion for all things Tea, she oversees all aspects of the business; including client consulting, concept and design, staff training, sourcing and product development (recipe creations). Having grown up in a family of restaurateurs and chefs, she considers her role as a purveyor of premium teas & tisanes a natural continuation of her family’s culinary tradition. Linda is a published illustrator and writer. Her illustrations appear in Tomislav Podreka’s book, SerendipiTea: a guide to the varieties, origins and rituals of tea, and she writes articles about tea for trade publications.
Linda also writes for TeaCourse.com - check it out for more in depth knowledge on all things tea.
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