John-Paul Lee

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John-Paul Lee
John-Paul at Via dei Mille Tea Cocktail Party SIZED.jpg
John-Paul at the 2009 Tavalon + Via dei Mille Tea Cocktail Party
Born (1978-10-12) October 12, 1978 (age 38)
Fairfax, Virginia, U.S.
Residence New York, New York, USA
Occupation Founder & CEO of Tavalon Tea
Co-Founder & President of BiBiFresh
Website Tavalon Tea

John-Paul Lee (born October 12, 1978) is the Co-Founder and CEO of Tavalon Tea, a New York City-based tea company that sells premium teas and related tea products from all over the world.

John-Paul received his BBA from James Madison University in 2001 with degrees in Finance and Computer Information Systems(CIS). John-Paul began his career as a consultant at Accenture (formerly Anderson Consulting) in 2001.

In 2002, John-Paul purchased Fuji Restaurant, a struggling Japanese-Korean fusion establishment in Arlington, VA which he later sold at a profit in 2003.

Lee left Accenture in 2005 to start Tavalon Tea in hopes of fulfilling a void in the US premium tea market and pursue his entrepreneurial dreams.

In September 2012, John-Paul partnered up with Marja Vongerichten of the Kimchi Chronicles (and wife of 3 Michelin Star Chef - Jean-Georges Vongerichten) to create his latest Korean restaurant venture, BiBiFresh.[1]

Honors & Awards[edit]

John-Paul has been profiled by many publications since he founded Tavalon Tea in 2005 including Entrepreneur Magazine, The New York Times, Business Week,, NPR, etc... Most recently, featured John-Paul in their gallery of successful start up entrepreneurs alongside Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Russell Simmons, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Kevin Plank, & Mark Zuckerberg.

Lee was also recognized as a business leader by the Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC) and honored with the "Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award" in 2010. In 2011, the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce bestowed John-Paul with the Top 10 Asian American Business Award for his accomplishments as a young and emerging entrepreneur.

In September 2011, John-Paul was selected as a member of the Entrepreneurial Sounding Board Committee for Columbia University's Business School where he engages with MBA students and helps pursue their entrepreneurial ideas and ventures.[2] Lee is also an official member and mentor within the Columbia Mentorship Program for Entrepreneurs at the Columbia University's Business School.[3]

In October 2011, John-Paul Lee was honored with a board seat committee for the Asian American Business Development Center(AABDC).

Personal life[edit]

John-Paul Lee was born on October 12, 1978 in Fairfax, Virginia and raised in Great Falls, Virginia. Originally given a Korean name, Chang Sun Lee, he was renamed John-Paul Lee upon being blessed by Pope John Paul II in Washington, D.C. He moved to Seoul, Korea at the age of 10 where he spent 5 years of his childhood and returned to Virginia in 2003.

John-Paul currently resides in New York City but travels frequently to Seoul, Korea where he is in the process of expanding Tavalon Tea.

Tavalon Tea[edit]


  1. ^ "Marja Vongerichten Launches BiBiFresh, a Roving Bibimbap-Up". Grub Street. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Columbia Business School-Entrepreneurial Sounding Board". Columbia Business School. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Columbia Business School-Columbia Mentorship Program 2011". Columbia Business School. Retrieved 3 November 2011.