Life Lessons Taught, Remembering David C. Bigelow

David C Bigelow with Eunice and Cindi Bigelow with tea ingredients

While Bigelow Tea can attribute its beginnings to Ruth Campbell Bigelow and her iconic "Constant Comment"® tea recipe, the direction and spirit of the company were profoundly shaped by her son, David C. Bigelow, and his wife, Eunice. As we reflect on David C. Bigelow’s passing in 2023, we remember an extraordinary man whose influence extended far beyond his professional achievements, deeply touching his long-time industry partnerships, family, and community.

David's journey began in 1926 in New York, growing up with his parents, David E. Bigelow and Ruth Campbell Bigelow. He interrupted his studies at Yale University to serve as a translator in the U.S. Army during WWII. After the war, he graduated and eventually joined the family business in 1959, the same year he married his beloved wife, Eunice.

Under David’s leadership, Bigelow Tea transformed from a single product company to a household name, pioneering the specialty tea sector which included developing innovative packaging that ensured freshness and quality for each tea bag. His commitment to fairness and integrity was evident in his business dealings, including landmark victories that protected competition and affordability in the tea industry.

David's daughter, Cindi Bigelow, who now leads Bigelow Tea as President and CEO, shared a few of the many invaluable lessons she learned from her father, offering insight into why David C. Bigelow, a humble, quiet man of small stature, was a family man to emulate and a true titan of the tea industry:

  • Be a Role Model: “My father taught me to never forget that you are a role model for those around you. Use that power wisely. Wake up each day with the mindset of being a positive influence. The sooner you embrace this fact, the sooner you can harness the power of your influence.” 
  • Embrace Fluidity: “Another lesson, learned through experience, was the importance of being fluid. Challenges will come, and while it may take time to process them, it's essential to move on—smarter and more compassionate from the experience, but not angry. My father processed setbacks in a way that made him more thoughtful and appreciative. He worked hard to learn from each experience, taking personal inventory whenever possible.” 
  • Lift the Room: “The final message is something I witnessed throughout my life: the importance of ‘lifting the room.’ This means striving to make everyone around you better. Use your talents and skills to elevate your team whether it be for business or within your family. My father embodied this every day.”

David C. Bigelow's enduring impact is not just in the products and innovations he brought to the tea industry, but in the values he instilled in his family and the corporate culture of Bigelow Tea. His truest legacy lies in his unwavering commitment to humility, gratitude, and kindness. Though his passing leaves a significant void for all who knew him, his family and the Bigelow Tea company in particular continue to move forward with the invaluable lessons he quietly taught through the stellar example he set every day. We honor his memory by upholding these high standards, ensuring that every cup of Bigelow Tea continues to be a testament to his remarkable legacy.