Tiesta Tea has come a long way since it inception in CEO Dan Klein’s apartment basement and the incubating space of the Research Park.
While studying abroad, Klein and best friend Paul Tannous first fell in love with loose leaf tea at a tea house in Prague. Thus began the journey in founding what News-Gazette interviewer Paul Wood calls the “loose-leaf empire” that is Tiesta Tea.
The company has grown significantly since its creation during Klein’s junior year of college. Beginning as a small packaging operation with the help of Klein’s friends, the company then switched locations to Research Park after he and Tannous won a spot in its incubator in 2010. With constant research and marketing and help from business veterans such as Jimmy John Liautaud, Tiesta Tea is now in several grocery stores and still spreading. The company has relocated to Chicago and secured $5 million in venture capital and grants.
And the best part? Klein continues to hire UI graduates because they are “smart, energetic and have a true passion for learning and growing.”
If you want to read the rest of Klein’s interview with the News-Gazette, click here.