Ellis Island Tea, an all-natural Jamaican Sweet Tea, is on its way to becoming a national beverage brand after receiving a significant boost from a makeover by MSNBC’s “Your Business.”
Ellis Island Tea will soon be taking off in airports from coast to coast now that founder Nailah Ellis-Brown, a Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur, has reached an agreement with HMSHost to place the tea in some of its busiest venues.
The Jamaican Sweet Tea also will soon be landing in Midwest Sam’s Club locations, where Ellis-Brown’s family tea recipe will be the only bottled tea in the juice section of the cooler. As an added bonus, Sam’s Club will feature an exclusive 64-ounce size bottle of Ellis Island Tea, something many consumers have been asking for years.
And, Whole Foods Market, which was one of Ellis Island Tea’s first major accounts, will be re-launching the beverage brand in its Midwest stores now that the product’s packaging has been given an impressive overhaul by branding experts.
Ellis Island Tea is brewed in Detroit. The beverage company was founded by Ellis-Brown back in 2008 when she began selling her family tea from a cooler in the trunk of her car at the age of 20. Today, the hibiscus-based tea is sold in more than 500 stores, including the newly added airports, Sam’s Clubs, Midwest Whole Foods Markets, all Meijer stores and Michigan Kroger stores.
Ellis-Brown’s real challenge has been expanding her brand beyond the Midwest with limited marketing funds. She knew the tea’s labeling didn’t do its job effectively, but was at a loss for how to fix it. Ready to grow, she reached out to MSNBC for help.
MSNBC’s “Your Business” producers paved the way for Ellis-Brown to meet with Sam’s Club executives, coordinated meetings with distributors and brought in a team of beverage experts to guide a rebranding process.
“When I agreed to do the MSNBC “Your Business” Makeover, I had hoped that I would get some great advice to…