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Archives for the ‘Bigelow Family Message’ Category

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

 

 

 

Bigelow Tea Is Proud To Welcome Veterans Participating in 2014 Ride To Recovery Bike Ride

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Bigelow Tea, family tea blenders since 1945, was proud to welcome Veterans participating in the 2014 Ride to Recovery bike ride to Bigelow’s Louisville, Kentucky plant. There, they were able to see the special boxes of American Classic Tea, produced solely for the purpose of thanking service men and women serving our country, being made.

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Since 2009 when Bigelow Tea’s first “Tea for the Troops” box was created, Cindi Bigelow, third-generation President and CEO, has worked with the USO to send more than 3.4 million tea bags (about 165,000 boxes) of American Classic tea to troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and outposts worldwide, in addition to Veterans Administration hospitals and VFW chapters.

tea tea for troops

Plenty of snacks and thirst-quenching refreshments were on hand when the riders arrived. The previous evening they were welcomed by Cindi Bigelow at a dinner held in their honor, where she was able to personally thank the veterans and pay homage to these American heroes for their brave service to our country. Legendary Louisville native and Bigelow spokesperson Phil Simms was also on hand in a show of support.

events r2r phil simms cindi

“I and everyone at Bigelow Tea are in awe of these heroes. So it was a special honor for Bigelow’s RTD Sales Manager Tim Richmond, himself a Veteran, and me to ride with them for the first leg of their 78-mile day into the Louisville plant. We were all so excited to have the riders join us for dinner and visit our facility were ‘Tea for the Troops’ boxes are made,” said Bigelow. “Showing our support and giving them a warm welcome was meant to honor them but truly, it was we who were honored.”

Cindi Bigelow Asks How Nice Are People Really?

03/11/2008 Cindy Bigelow portrait shoot Fairfield CT

I have had to do a fair amount of traveling lately for business and maybe I am just on a good roll of meeting people, but I have to say people are really nice. You just have to give them the opportunity. Everyone is alive and everyone cares but maybe they get caught up with the day to day, maybe they are completely preoccupied…whatever the thing that is going on in their life, I am convinced more than ever, if you give them the chance, you give them the benefit, they are really nice.

Tonight I flew back from a sales call out west. When I walked into the waiting room of the retailer earlier in that day and the receptionist could not have been more kind and with a bigger smile.  I thought I walked into someone’s home.

Then, the person in charge of social media for this account appeared in the lobby to discuss something with the receptionist. It piqued my interest as that is a part of my job and has required a significant amount of time lately.  I asked her a question and the next thing I knew we got into the most energized conversation. You would have thought we knew each other for quite some time.

Then I went into the meeting room with the buyer. Okay, the woman could not have been lovelier. At this point I was starting to pinch myself.  What is going on here?  She was intelligent, sweet and just plain real. She allowed me over an hour (rare in today’s fast paced environment). When I left I wanted to hug her (okay that would not have been appropriate, so I held back).

Then I rushed to the airport in my usual just barely making it style. While waiting in the terminal I witnessed some interesting human transactions. An attendant who sees a long-lost friend (also a flight attendant coming off an earlier flight), gives her the most beautiful “hello.” Her joyous greeting was so sincere.

Another woman who had just gotten off the plane but had lost her phone on board and was waiting to see if they could find it, was holding her young son but was so preoccupied she paid almost not attention to his sweet antics. There was a line of people starting to board the plane but were annoyed that they had to move over to another lane in order to get checked in. I decided to engage that line of people on the wrong side with a cute little comment about how lucky they were that being in “zone 1,” which meant they had to get into the sky priority line.  After thinking about it, they all felt pretty special and happily moved over.

I then boarded with them to find the most engaging young man as my “row mate.” He introduced himself, “Hi.  I am Kelvin”. Okay, I thought, he seemed nice enough but I had lots of work to do. Well, I did end up getting a fair amount of work done but at the same time we ended up having the most outstanding conversations. We talk about everything from religion, to child rearing, to business, to discussing how nice people really are.  With that, our flight attendant Carol joined in (yes, the same one that greeted her friend with such a huge hello). And then we started the debate, just how nice are people?

I thought about the day.  I thought about all I had experienced and I really have to say, I think all people have such a huge capacity for being nice. We just all have to give people the runway to do it. With the use of a warm smile, the sound of a kind word, the true look into someone’s eyes and the caring ear to really listen, everyone can be the best they can be. We just have to take the time to create the right environment.

Yes Carol, Kelvin and I all agreed in the end, people are really nice…we just have to let them know we care and let them know we see them with eyes that invite them to be nice.

 

-Cindi Bigelow
 

Listen To Cindi Bigelow Talk Tea With Naturally Savvy Radio!

 btmon_Listen To Cindi Bigelow Talk Tea With Naturally Savvy Radio!

As third-generation president and CEO of Bigelow Tea, Cindi Bigelow has grown up in the family-owned business and always loves sharing her professional opinions about tea. So she jumped at the invitation to talk tea with Andrea Donsky on the Naturally Savvy radio show on RadioMD! Listen in to the fascinating conversation!

Andrea is a registered holistic nutritionist and self-described “tea snob” who is passionate about helping her listeners live a natural and healthy lifestyle —something Cindi values as well. They covered a lot of ground, chatting about the differences between green tea and black teaorganic vs. nonorganic teas, the latest research on tea, the safety and purity of tea bags and brewed tea, and much more. Cindi pointed out that while she is not a scientist, she has been reading about and discussing tea for over 20 years!

Oh, and you might be surprised to learn that Cindi loves her morning coffee (gasp!) but prefers green and black tea throughout the day. Check out the interview for more great tea revelations from Cindi! And keep sharing your own #BigelowTea thoughts—like this sweet one from Twitter fan @Saaang_Al, who loves to start her day with Green Tea!
 

Bigelow Tea Helps Out At The Bridgeport Rescue Mission

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Bigelow Tea employees Ed Hill and Roldao Carvalho 

As part of Bigelow Tea’s ongoing commitment to community service, members of the Fairfield Plant recently spent time at the Bridgeport Rescue Mission by helping out and volunteering as meal servers, ready to help serve food to those who count on the Bridgeport Rescue Mission to get a hot meal. Bigelow Tea has long championed the great work done by Bridgeport Rescue Mission and has supported the organization by donating a portion of the proceeds from the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge road race to the worthy efforts that take place there. In addition, all of the produce from last year’s Bigelow Tea Community Garden was donated to the Mission. We were able to harvest almost 200 pounds of fruits and vegetables.

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The Bridgeport Rescue Mission does so much great work in our community. On any given night, over 1,000 people are homeless on the streets of Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford, and there are more than 200 homeless people in Bridgeport’s downtown area. Unfortunately 38 percent of children in Bridgeport live below the poverty line and 16 percent of all families in Bridgeport live below the poverty line. The Mission helps by providing 40,000 nights of shelter and 600,000 meals each year.

The Bigelow Team volunteers in the pictures abpve are Bigelow Tea’s Maintenance Manager, Ed Hill and Production Manager, Roldao Carvalho. Both Roldao and Ed walked away feeling positive about their contributions and anxious to go back and have another opportunity to help others. Being able to participate and perform community service is just another great reason that employees appreciate being part of the Bigelow Tea family.

-Jim Gildea, Fairfield, CT Plant Manager

Determination And Collaboration: Stories Of Success At Bigelow Tea

bttues_Determination And Collaboration- Stories Of Success At Bigelow Tea

Bill Hall and Cindi Bigelow at the Charleston Tea Plantation

Yes, Hot Tea Month is in full swing, but why not enjoy it with some cool family stories from Bigelow Tea! Here are three tidbits about collaboration and good old-fashioned stick-to-it-ness. Check out more stories on Bigelow Tea boxes and in previous posts.

• Back in 1955, just after Ruth C. and David E. Bigelow moved their 10-year-old tea company from New York to Connecticut, they were hit with back-to-back hurricanes. The new factory was flooded and all the tea washed down the Norwalk River! Fortunately, the determined couple worked with employees and patient creditors to get the factory up and running again.

• Much more recently, in 2003, the amazing Charleston Tea Plantation faced a developer’s bulldozer. The Bigelow family purchased the land and worked with local farmers to preserve 127 acres of beautiful tea bushes and the American Classic Tea line.

btfri2_Bigelow Tea Is All Smiles Over Dental Study

• Collaboration was also key to the creation of Bigelow Tea’s signature Earl Grey recipe, a favorite of many tea lovers (#besttea, according to @danielledhein and #FavoriteFallDrink says @NickChancey!) The secret? Unparalleled oil of bergamot from Calabria, Italy. The Bigelows discovered it 40 years ago and loved it so much, they bought the whole crop and have used it ever since!
 

The Story Behind “Constant Comment” Bigelow Tea

bttus_The Story Behind “Constant Comment” Bigelow Tea

Hey, it’s Hot Tea Month. The perfect time to talk about Bigelow Tea founder Ruth Campbell Bigelow and the inspired tea she created in her home kitchen nearly 70 years ago!

“Constant Comment”®—which was inspired by an early Colonial recipe using orange rind and sweet spices—became Mrs. Bigelow’s first variety. It got its name from the “constant comments” of her friends. How cool is it that today Bigelow Tea “Friends” are still “Commenting” about Bigelow Teas all over the web?

Back at the beginning, Ruth couldn’t simply Tweet about her teas (no social media then). So, when it came time to market her product, one shopkeeper told Ruth that the aroma of “Constant Comment” was a big selling point. She promptly set up a jar of “Constant Comment” labeled with the directions: “open and whiff.”  Shops across the country placed this whiffing jar by their cash registers and the sales began to grow!

bttues2_The Story Behind “Constant Comment” Bigelow Tea

The rest, as they say, is history. And though Ruth never saw the power of the world wide web, she’d be thrilled to know that “Constant Comment” is still generating buzz today! Check out the “good morning” mug of “Constant Comment” that @daredancer shared recently … and tell us why you love Ruth’s first tea!

Image via Home Cooking Memories