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
“I want all the colors, processes and designs from each culture to blend. I redesign them and mix up the processes in ways no one has ever done before. I try to edit them, learn from them, make them my own but retain their essence. In piggybacking these designs and techniques with each other or with my own ideas, what emerges is new and fresh, and yet retains that sense of tradition, of the handmade” – John Robshaw
Yancey Strickler, co-founder and CEO of Kickstarter on the Makers Movement:
There is a real change happening in the how we appreciate where things come from. This is what lot of food has been about recently. What you are seeing through Kickstart is a Revolution in manufacturing and how we make things.
And if you look at a kickstart project, you see how this thing comes to be. You get a visit to the factory is Shenzhen, China with the creator, you get the sense of what the global supply chain is.
Where as right now, we might look at a product as something that gets plucked off a tree like magic and gets delivered to you by Amazon in 48 hours. In actuality there is years of work that lead up to that. All that has been hidden behind the curtain for a long time and what’s happening through Kickstarter, and now I see giant companies emulating it, is that this entire process is completely transparent.
And you see how this thing came to life. You see that even a physical product has an author, has many authors; the exposition of that, the sharing of that, really raises the education level, the awareness level, of everyone and may be gives people the sense that you can do this too. We really like that as a cultural sea change and it’s one that has happened pretty quickly over the last 5 years that we have become very accustomed to and I am very eager to see where it goes.
http://www.charlierose.com/watch/60362559 – starts at around 11:08