Sweet Leaf Tea Company

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Sweet Leaf Tea Company
FoundedBeaumont, TX, 1998
  • Clayton Christopher
  • David Smith
ProductsSee products section
Number of employees
ParentBlueTriton Brands

Sweet Leaf Tea Company is a producer of ready-to-drink organic teas and lemonades made with 100% pure cane sugar, owned by Nestlé and headquartered in the Penn Field Business Park in the South Congress area of Austin, Texas. It was founded in Beaumont, TX in 1998 by Clayton Christopher and David Smith. Sweet Leaf Tea is available in 16 oz recyclable aluminum cans, 16oz glass, 12oz PET and 20oz PET at specialty grocers across the United States.

On April 2, 2008, Sweet Leaf Tea Company announced $18 million in private funding from Catterton Partners.[1] On May 29, 2008, Sweet Leaf Tea Company filed suit against an Arizona-based company for the name of their sweetener, SweetLeaf Stevia.[2] On March 23, 2009, Nestlé Waters North America made a $15.6 million investment in Sweet Leaf Tea.[3] It acquired the rest of the company in 2011.


Sweet Leaf Tea was founded in 1998 in Beaumont, TX by Clayton Christopher, using $10,000 and his grandmother's recipe for home-brewed iced tea made with cane sugar.[4][5] Christopher was inspired to create the business after returning from a road trip throughout Alabama and Mississippi, where he saw the abundance of homemade iced tea that all the local "mom and pop" restaurants served. He could not find bottled tea on the market that tasted like homemade iced tea and thus decided to make a bottled tea as tasty as the one his grandmother Mimi used to make.[4][6] In 1999, Christopher's childhood friend David Smith joined him at the company. Early production consisted of brewing tea in crawfish pots in Hen's kitchen, using pillow cases as "tea bags" and; then using garden hoses to transport the tea to plastic bottles.[4][7]

In March 2009, Nestlé Waters North America invested $15.6 million in the company. In March 2010, Clayton Christopher stepped down as CEO and was succeeded by former Nestle General Manager Dan Costello.[8][9]

In April 2010, Sweet Leaf acquired Cincinnati-based Tradewinds Beverage Co.[9]

Since 2012, Sweet Leaf has replaced the organic brewed tea that was in the original recipes with organic tea concentrates.



  • Organic Original Sweet Tea
  • Diet Original Sweet Tea
  • Organic Mint & Honey Green Tea
  • Organic Citrus Green Tea
  • Diet Citrus Green Tea
  • Organic Peach Sweet Tea
  • Organic Lemon Sweet Tea
  • Raspberry Sweet Tea
  • Lemon Lime Unsweet Tea
  • Organic Half & Half Lemonade Tea
  • Diet Mint & Honey Green Tea (discontinued)
  • Diet Peach Sweet Tea (discontinued)
  • Organic Mango Green Tea (discontinued)
  • Organic Pomegranate Green Tea (discontinued)


  • Organic Original Lemonade
  • Organic Peach Lemonade (discontinued)
  • Organic Cherry Limeade (discontinued)


Sweet Leaf Tea is available for purchase in convenience stores, restaurants, supermarkets and specialty grocers like Hannaford, Shaws, Stop N' Shop, Market of Choice, Whole Foods Market, Albertsons, Publix, Piggly Wiggly, Costco, Target, Kroger, The Fresh Market, Wal-Mart and Straub's Markets throughout the United States and online at the bottlers website.


The entrance to Sweet Leaf Tea in Penn Field Business Park.

Sweet Leaf is headquartered in the Penn Field Business Park in the South Congress area of Austin, Texas.[10][11]

Sweet Leaf originally had its headquarters in Beaumont, Texas.[12] The headquarters moved to Austin in October 2003.[13] In the mid-2000s, Sweet Leaf had its headquarters in an area west of Downtown Austin.[14] In 2007, Sweet Leaf relocated to the South Congress area.[15] In April 2009, the company began to look for a larger headquarters space.[11] In October 2009, Sweet Leaf announced that it planned to move its headquarters to a LEED certified building during that month.[16] In December 2009, the company moved its headquarters to the Penn Field Business Park in South Congress in December of that year. After the move, the company had almost three times the amount of headquarters space that it previously had.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sweet Leaf Tea Announces $18 Million in Private Equity Funding from Catterton Partners
  2. ^ Sweet Leaf Tea sues an Arizona company to defend the use of name
  3. ^ NWNA press release
  4. ^ a b c "Sweet Leaf Tea founder to step down as CEO". Retrieved 7 Oct 2013.
  5. ^ "Sweet Leaf Tea History". Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Sweet Leaf Tea History". Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  7. ^ "Sweet Leaf Tea History". Retrieved 7 Oct 2013.
  8. ^ Valdez, Andrea. "How to Brew Sweet Tea." Texas Monthly. Aug. 2009
  9. ^ a b "Sweet Leaf Tea Brews a Recipe for Success." NSIDE ATX. July 2010
  10. ^ "Contact Us." Sweet Leaf Tea Company." Retrieved on January 10, 2010.
  11. ^ a b c "Sweet Leaf triples space, adds flavors and new can." Austin Business Journal. Tuesday January 5, 2010. Retrieved on January 10, 2010.
  12. ^ "Contact Us." Sweet Leaf Tea Company. June 7, 2001. Retrieved on January 10, 2010.
  13. ^ "History." Sweet Leaf Tea Company. Retrieved on January 10, 2010.
  14. ^ "Contact Us." Sweet Leaf Tea Company. May 7, 2006. Retrieved on January 10, 2010.
  15. ^ "Sweet Leaf Tea.(relocates headquarters)(Brief article)." Beverage Industry. April 1, 2007. Retrieved on January 10, 2010.
  16. ^ "Sweet Leaf Tea Purchases "Green Power" for Corporate Headquarters from Green Mountain Energy Company." PRWeb. October 1, 2009. Retrieved on January 10, 2010.

External links[edit]