It’s not every day you get to have lunch with the founder of an up-and-coming company that does business all over the United States. But about a month back, I was invited to lunch with Eric Schnell, one of the co-founders of Steaz Teaz. My buddies Los Angelista and Socal Mom were there too, and that made it more fun. Steaz is a beverage company that adds organic, fair-trade tea or all-natural energy boosts to fruit juice, with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. There’s a nice combination of flavors and you can get the drinks in sparkling or flat.
Now, I missed the whole Starbucks/coffee craze. So I’m thrilled to have a new selection of beverages on store shelves that I’d actually drink. And most appealingly to me, Steaz is what Schnell calls a “triple-bottom-line” company.
Now as much as I’ve blathered on in this blog about how we don’t buy this or that, what you might miss is that once I find a product I like, I am insanely loyal. It’s just that I’m pretty particular about what I’ll be loyal to. Most companies pay scant attention to the quality of ingredients used, the care or craftsmanship in making a product, and pursue the most shortsighted bottom-line driven ways of manufacturing and shipping their goods, usually in a way that damages the environment. Speed plus sloppiness plus carelessness, all in the name of bottom-line pressures, often add up to a large carbon footprint. Who wants to be loyal to that?
But ever since I learned about Paul Newman’s delicious salad dressings, popcorn, and sweet and salty snacks, I’ve been a loyal consumer. I like what Paul Newman has stood for throughout his life and work, and he was among the first to create a market for, and thus develop a supply chain, foods made with organic ingredients. I like that it’s a family business. I can find the items in most groceries, although the widest selection tends to be in Whole Foods. And this is what I like about Steaz’s “triple bottom-line” company policy:
- the company goes through the trouble of buying carbon offsets to make a carbon-neutral footprint, covering the environmental cost of transporting organically grown teas from growers around the world,
- it also ensures all raw grown ingredients are fair-trade certified. Steaz is happy to provide these certifications on all their drinks,
- plain old profitability for the company’s workers.
I’m glad to see they’re now in Target stores all around the country! It’s not iced-tea season here yet, but I’ll be sure to drink some when it gets hot this summer. Because it’s nice to enjoy something that’s guilt-free.