Honest Tea Founders: 'Build Something You Believe In'

Tuesday, 10 Sep 2013 08:02 AM

By Glenn J. Kalinoski and Kathleen Walter

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Having an unshakable belief in your product is the advice offered by entrepreneurs Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff.

"Build something you're passionate about … build something you believe in, not just something that you believe in 50 percent of the time," Goldman told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

Goldman and Nalebuff are the co-founders of organic tea company Honest Tea. They’re also the co-authors of "Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently and Succeeding."

Watch our exclusive video. Story continues below.




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"Going into it as an entrepreneur, you're always going to have the disadvantage that you're not going to have the resources, you're not going to have the information, you're going to have cost disadvantages, distribution disadvantages, pretty much everything … is going to be at a disadvantage," Goldman said.

"The one advantage you have is a belief that you can inspire your employees, that you can engage your customers and your consumers in a way that they, if you do it right, will care about you in a way they wouldn't care about another product."

Honest Tea was started 15 years ago with a passion to offer organic, freshly-brewed, lightly sweetened bottled tea. The company now is a national brand sold in more than 100,000 grocery stores, restaurants and convenience stores nationwide.

They were asked about criticism about having "sold out," since it has been about five years since the Coca-Cola Company first invested in Honest Tea and about two years since Coke purchased the remaining portion of Honest Tea.

"We like to think that Coke bought in rather than us selling out," Nalebuff said. "It's less sweet, it's a healthy green tea with antioxidants and flavonoids. If we can sell a billion bottles rather than 100 million bottles, we end up doing 10 times our mission."

Growth and expansion have been on the agenda at the company.

"We launched new products like Honest Kids and … Honest Fizz, which is a zero-calorie, naturally sweetened soda line," Goldman said.

Editor's Note: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See if You qualify)

"We're now growing from success to significance to really penetrate the American diet and be available wherever beverages are sold."

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