Zhi Tea was started on a dream. A dream to create a long-standing company built on the cornerstones of relationships, quality, and beauty. Candice came to me with an idea in 2006: "What if we were to start a company selling a product that we love, is full of integrity, an extraordinary culture, 100% sustainable and Fair Trade and we build it in a grass-roots way?"
After not too much consideration (one minute) I said "Yes, let's do it!"
We are die-hard tea lovers with a love and deep respect for traditional farming, Fair Trade practices, and high-quality necessities. And, of course, we are foodies to the core.
It was our desire to create the world's most gorgeous tea website and jaw dropping tea blends. Candice takes all our own photos (1000's), is our videographer and graphics priestess. I run operations at our distribution center, manage staff, events and other goofy CEO stuff. In fact, we outsource very little. All processing of the tea is done right here in Austin; handcrafted in small batches.
Zhi Tea is a homegrown Austin, Texas, company. We are quite active in our community; we participate in many foodie/local/sustainable events throughout the year and even won a "Local Heroes Award" through the Edible Communities for 2009. We enjoy supporting local non-profits that we are aligned with, like Urban Roots and the Sustainable Food Center here in Austin Grass roots has always been our approach and we survive by word of mouth promotion. Thank you!
I have a background as a start-up guy at Amazon.com, way back when they were a mere online bookstore. As such, I was steeped in customer ecstasy and brought that to Zhi from day one. Our tea priestess (Candice Oneida) has a background in design, web and project management and has beautified the website, the packaging, and the storefront here in Austin.
We deal directly with everyone we possibly can. I have to confess I am often on the phone with a retail customer, advising about a particular tea or blend. We taste and cup hundreds of different teas to arrive at the very best. We design and blend our own tea. We cut no corners. Transparency is the key and that is one reason we choose certified tea every time as it allows us a certainty as to purity and source.
One of our core values is true customer satisfaction. The kind that goes, "WOW! This is AWESOME." When we hear that we know we have done our job.