How Té Amo Began

Before Treecup was called Treecup... it was called Té Amo.  Here is an old blog post from our old website for our previous brand name.  Enjoy :)

Té Amo, as a brand, has only been around for 71 days as of this blog's publishing.

We are barely a baby.  We are barely learning to crawl... and to be quite honest, we have not even faced any large challenges yet.

But in a year from now - we will still be alive and developing.  I promise.  We may be learning to walk by that point.

The purpose of this blog is to share a story.  A story of the creation of my startup, why I chose to enter the beverage industry, and how I plan to make Té Amo a success.

In order to tell the story accurately, we have to go back.  Way back to before my birth.

Té Amo actually began about 30 years ago with my grandmother, Vitalia Montez.  She started making it when my mother, Vitalia Sotomayor, was a teenager.

She made it originally just to test out a different recipe - a true entrepreneurial spirit.  My grandfather, mother, and two uncles loved the brew enough to request it more often  Nowadays, my grandma makes this tea almost every morning!

Fast forward about 10 years... my parents move to the United States in 1995, and with that brought a plethora of different Peruvian recipes with them.  Foods like lomo saltado, pollo a la brasa, arroz con pollo, papa a la huancaina, ceviche, and of course - their favorite tea.

My sister, Kristal, and I were born and whilst we were growing up, we always drank tea.  True tea aficionados, I remember having tea and a peanut butter sandwich every morning for breakfast in elementary school.

This carried throughout my life.  For example, when I was in middle school I loved video games.  As a borderline video game addict, I would spend upwards of 12 hours a day playing war games or Minecraft on summer days.  It was during these times that I drank literally a pitcher of tea a day to myself as I gamed and only took breaks to get food and use the bathroom.  It was at this time I noticed something special about this tea - you could drink plenty of it and not get bored of the taste!  I don't know if I was just addicted to the caffeine in the brew, but even then I knew this blend was special.

Fast forward through high school... and I'm in my sophomore year of college.  I came back home from Grove City College for Labor day on September 4th to have lunch with my mother.  Her food brought back nostalgia from my childhood and put a smile to my face.  And then there was the tea - a full pitcher.  Which I nearly finished myself during one sitting.

"You could literally bottle this tea and sell it", I told my mother while drinking the last bit of what is now Té Amo.  

"You study entrepreneurship, why don't you?" my mother asked me in Spanish.  (My parents and I speak in Spanglish - I speak English and they speak Spanish back to me)

That's when it happened.  That's when it clicked.  I felt a feeling of divine inspiration and enlightenment come upon me.  As an entrepreneurship major, I had been looking for a product or business concept which I was passionate about in order to fuel action towards a successful company - my dream.  And this was it.

I immediately took out my "dream journal" from the car and sketched out the following:

As you can see from above, the original name I thought of was "Toma Té".  I liked the alliteration because I felt it was memorable.  Also, it means "Have tea!" in Spanish.  I'm glad I changed it since it kind of sounds like "tomato".

I wanted to take action immediately on this venture.  The next day, September 5th, I would be back at school and I wanted to see if other people liked the tea as much as I did.  So my mom made me 2 gallons of tea to take and give samples at Grove City College.

There was a resounding response of "holy crap this tea is amazing" with most samplers.  It really gave me the boost of confidence I needed to devote more time and attention to the business.

The next time I gave out samples, I wanted to make it more special.  I created a simple label for the new name - Té Amo, meaning "I love you" in Spanish.  Thus 100 eight ounce bottles were given out along with a survey.

 This is how it looked.  It was an awesome feeling to be looking at a "working prototype" of me and my ancestor's creation.

Ever since then it's been small step after small step... attempting to make this venture a success.

Who knows where we'll go.  All I know is that the entrepreneur roller-coaster is a heck of a ride.  And I'm an business-adrenaline junkie.

Thanks for reading.

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