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Celebrating Honest Legacies

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Many of the faces of Honest Tea come with years of hard work and dedication to an organic tea company they believe in.  We’ll never sugar-coat it: many of those stories in the early years included plenty of challenges—retailers and distributors didn’t believe a “just a tad sweet” organic bottled tea company could make it, but we stuck to our mission.  Perhaps you too often look back and reflect on what it took to get to where you are today.  Hard work and time are often the key ingredients needed for success.

Today we celebrate a few “veterans” at Honest Tea who have dedicated years to the Mission, from crafting our beverages, to sales, to design.  We sat down with them to hear more about their journey.

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Meet Michael Petrone, Director of Research and Development a.k.a our very own in-house brew-master.  Mike is often hidden in the kitchen at HQ, brewing up samples of a new exotic, organic teas.  If you happen to walk by he’ll ask you to taste his latest drink!

Honest: Mike—when did you start at Honest Tea?

Mike: 2005.

Honest: How has your role changed since you started?

Mike: When I started at Honest Tea as an operations intern we were a smaller group, and the scope of my day to day work was much wider.  I really got experience working in nearly every part of the organization.  Now that we are a bit larger my position has become more specialized and I am able to focus more on my passion which is new product development.  Fortunately we still all work closely out of one room in our HQ so I never feel isolated.

Honest: What do you most enjoy about working here?

Mike: I mostly enjoy being a part of something great.  It feels amazing to know we are really making an impact in the beverage industry, and not just a financial one.  It’s rare to find a job that you not only love what you do individually, but that you also love what the organization does as a whole.

Honest: What keeps you committed to Honest Tea after all these years?

Mike: This was my first job out of college and now I’ve been here almost 10 years.  The entire time I have been here there has always been something exciting going on, whether it’s expanding distribution, launching new products, or landing a great customer.  The culture in the office is fast-paced and has never left me wanting more from my job.  I imagine that’s why others stick around too.  Not to mention all the perks like healthy snacks, organic fruit and bikes!

Honest: In one word, describe your current job.

Mike: Inventive.

Honest:  What’s your six-word memoir for what you do on a daily basis?

Mike: Science & creativity mixed with tasty drinks.

mandy

Meet Mandy Coelho, Graphic Designer.  Mandy is a true example of how sometimes you find the job, and sometimes the job finds you. Often behind a large iMac designing a new label or product refresh, Mandy is the first to crack a joke and bring levity to the room.  In a fast-paced, often tight-turnaround position, a little humor goes a long way.

Honest: Mandy, when did you start at Honest Tea?

Mandy: 2002.

Honest: How has your role changed since you started?

Mandy: After answering an ad in the newspaper (yes, you read that correctly), and knowing I wanted to work for a company that I believed in, I didn’t care what the job was—I just wanted to work for Honest Tea.  So I started as the office manager with a personal goal to grow into a marketing role.  But my love for design and aesthetics emerged at work, and I managed to talk Seth into letting me do design work in-house (to save money).  I have been doing only graphic design since 2004.

Honest: What do you most enjoy about working here?

Mandy: The people. The culture. The flexibility. The diverse projects. The product.

Honest: Why do you think Honest Tea has so many employees who have been here longer than five years?

Mandy: I think employees enjoy the variety that Honest Tea has to offer as well as the culture that it breeds.  No matter what your role at Honest Tea, you end up involved in different aspects of the business.  In addition to the ever-changing hats we all wear, it’s the people that really make the culture.  The passion and energy in the office is why I love coming to work everyday.  I don’t know many people that can say that and truly mean it.

Honest: In one word, describe your current job.

Mandy: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Honest: What’s your six-word memoir for what you do on a daily basis?

Mandy: Daytime designer, full-time mom and wife.

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Meet Cheryl Raff—Natural Sales Manager for the Rocky Mountain Region.  While Cheryl’s based out west, she’s often one of the first to call our East Coast office in the morning.  Her secret to early mornings? Tea.  Cheryl is the kind of person you want to be stuck with on a deserted island—she is fantastically optimistic and if you have any sort of ailment or illness, she’s guaranteed to have a naturopathic remedy.

Honest: When did you start at Honest Tea, Cheryl?

Cheryl: 2008.

Honest: How has your role changed since you started?:

Cheryl: I still have the same title–I was the first Natural Area Manager for Honest Tea so the position was created for me.  I went from merchandising and daily store calls to working on the natural distributors; managing high-level accounts and other special projects; product training; and teaching other Natural Area Managers about budgets, systems, and various types of leading and training.  Lots and lots of tea-m work!

Honest: What do you most enjoy about working here?

Cheryl: My days are never the same! I have room for growth; I learn new things every day; and I love working with my tea-m.  As we grow as a company, there are always new systems, new adventures and lots of new things to explore.

Honest: Why do you think so many people stick around at Honest Tea?

Cheryl: I feel appreciated, respected, valued and a tea-m member.  While my opinion may not always be the one we go with, it is always taken into account.

Honest: In one word, describe your current job.

Cheryl: Evolving.

Honest: What’s your six-word memoir for what you do on a daily basis?

Cheryl: Tea-m work and a smile – yeeehaw!

In brewing a culture that inspires years of dedication, it’s clear there’s a recipe needed: relentless passion, continued teamwork and a common vision.  Our thanks to Mike, Mandy and Cheryl, who have made a tremendous effort on behalf of Honest Tea’s Mission every day.

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