The Republic Of Tea

The Republic Of Tea Could Be Worth $125M, But Its Exec Is Still Not Selling

Rubin has been told other specialty tea companies are selling for more than five times revenue, so the Republic of Tea, which topped $25 million in revenue in 2015, could be worth as much as $125 million. But he says he’s not interested in selling. An effusive 66-year-old, he recently doubled down on keeping his company independent, executing a plan to turn over the reins to his son Todd, 35. “I wanted this not only to remain a family business but also a generational business,” says Ron, who has started a new venture, a Sonoma winery, and says he considers himself a “zentrepreneur,” explaining, “An entrepreneur creates a business; a zentrepreneur creates a business and a life.”

  • Purchased in 1994
  • Promoted the complex and artisanal characteristics of tea as if it were wine.
  • No interest in international growth
  • Stayed in the specialty universe: 10,000 domestic channels
  • Skepticism of growth is rooted in his aversion to debt
  • Decided to remain debt-free and expand from sale
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