Sometime in 1942 or ’43, Ruth and David Sr. decided they wanted to start a tea business. At the time, they lived in a small apartment in Manhattan. They felt strongly that, for the company to be a success, they needed a home where they could begin. Searching the local streets, they found a brownstone, just off of Second Avenue, which was in terrible disrepair. Optimistic, they bought it with the last of their life savings, and plastered and repainted it themselves. It was in this home in 1945, where Ruth and David Sr. opened the doors to the new Bigelow Tea Company. Little could they have imagined that their dream would one day grow to be America’s #1 Specialty Tea company!
"Son, don't tell your mother…" Back in 1945, when the Bigelow Tea company first started, Ruth Bigelow and the family could only afford a single-color label for her tea. To help spruce up the package, David Jr. and David Sr. would sit together each night, hand-painting the two ladies on the original label. Each morning, they would put the tea into the family station wagon and sell it store by store. One night, David Sr. turned to David Jr. and said “Son, don't tell your mother, but I don't think this company is ever going anywhere.” Almost 70 years later, David Jr. still smiles at the memory and is grateful that his father was mistaken. Today, Bigelow Tea is the specialty tea leader in the U.S. Those hand painted labels must have been pretty darn effective!