In recent years it seems that, if you’re the head of a successful tea company, the thing to do is write a book. If you don’t believe it, we’ll start with exhibit A, a recent volume that fits the bill. Then we’ll move onto exhibits B and C, which have been out for a while but which you might have missed.

Exhibit A

As the title suggests, Zhena Muzyka’s upcoming book is an inspirational tale that’s probably focuses as much on her life story as it is on tea. It’s called Life by the Cup: Ingredients for a Purpose-Filled Life of Bottomless Happiness and Limitless Success and you can pick up a copy sometime in mid-2014. The story looks at how Muzyka, a young mother in tough straits, started with the custom tea blends she sold from a tea cart and built that into a successful tea company.

Exhibit B

As the authors of Mission in a Bottle note, “We were thirsty. We couldn’t find anything we wanted to drink, so we started a company to make bottled iced tea that actually tasted like tea.” The book came out last year and those authors are Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff, the co-founders of one of the larger concerns currently making bottled iced tea that actually tastes like tea. With the subtitle, The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently–and Succeeding, it’s clear that the focus of this tome is a little more on the nuts and bolts of how a successful company was built from the ground up. Read all about it, including a sample chapter, at the book’s web site.

Exhibit C

As I noted in my article on the twentieth anniversary of another well-known tea vendor, in addition to selling tea their gimmick has always been that they structure themselves as an imaginary republic, complete with ministers, ambassadors, citizens, and embassies. Which correspond to employees, sales reps, customer, and retailers. Some time back, not so long after they started the company, actually, Mel Ziegler, Patricia Ziegler, and Bill Rosenzweig, the guiding lights behind the company, penned their own account of the making of this popular and successful tea company. It’s called The Republic of Tea: The Story of the Creation of a Business, as Told Through the Personal Letters of Its Founders.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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