I first met Seth when he spoke at the 2004 Gel Conference in New York City.
Fitness is important to Seth, and after a particularly parched run through Central Park in 1997, he wanted a drink that was more than just water, but not full of sugar. Failing to find one, Seth decided to reignite an old conversation on the love for tea with his Yale professor, Barry Nalebuff. While traveling through the tea-drinking cultures of India, China, and Russia, both developed a love for good tea.
Seth and Barry decided the marketplace needed a low-sugar, high-quality organic tea. Barry suggested the name Honest Tea, and it immediately resonated with Seth. Taking a risk, Seth left his marketing and sales post with a socially responsible mutual fund and launched Honest Tea from his home’s guest room. After brewing the tea in his kitchen, he put five large thermoses in his car and drove to the local Whole Foods regional office. Based on five thermoses, he convinced the general purchasing manager to order 15,000 bottles. Honest Tea had its first customer and quickly became the best-selling organic tea throughout the Whole Foods chain. Coke eventually purchased a 40% interest in Honest Tea, now the number one organic tea drink in America.
Below is a rebroadcast of my interview with Seth