Reading success in the tea leaves

12/21/2008 | Bloomberg Businessweek

From the outside, the success of Honest Tea might have seemed simple. Seth Goldman brewed up the first batches in his kitchen, quickly signed on Fresh Fields as his first customer, then took the category by storm until The Coca-Cola Co. bought a 40% stake earlier this year. But Goldman says there were plenty of bumps along the way, including an expensive detour into the bottling business and a line of tea bags that flopped. When trying to extend his brand, Goldman finally found that it paid to think small.

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