Smith Teamaker named one of Portland’s fastest-growing private companies
Image: Smith Teamaker
In a city known for craft and innovation in the food and beverage market, Portland Business Journal’s annual designation of the “100 fastest-growing private companies” spotlights companies on the rise. Of only four beverage brands to make the list, Smith Teamaker was the only omni-channel product in the non-alcoholic space to be included. The company showed strong growth in 2021 — 44%, which is particularly unusual in the tea industry, where average growth is about 2%.
“Our teamakers here at Smith are fortunate to serve our growing customer base around the world,” says Darren Marshall, CEO of Smith Teamaker. “These past few years have been tremendously difficult for so many, so we’re especially grateful to be able to enrich lives with our work to provide exceptional tea experiences.”
Smith Teamaker has taken what has typically been a sleepy beverage category and enlivened it with innovative products, and exciting collaborations with chefs and tastemakers. The company approaches everything a little bit differently, from the look and shape of their product cartons, to their GMO-free, plant-based sachets, to transparent sourcing. In 2021, the company grew its omni-channel product sales, as well as opened a first-of-its-kind tea café, where a chef-driven, plant-based food menu is served, incorporating tea from leaf-to-cup-to-plate.
With all of their product development and production under one roof, Smith Teamaker is able to create and market new products much more swiftly than larger companies, making them an ideal partner for other brands looking to create a custom tea blend, or utilize their library of flavor in other artisan products, such as ice cream, chocolate, kombucha and more. 2021’s innovations included a tea created in partnership with NBA legend Scottie Pippen’s DIGITS bourbon brand, a tea for Top Chef star Gregory Gourdet’s restaurant Kann, and a wildly successful expanded collection of iced teas. 2022 will see collaborations released with Bombay Sapphire, as well as Straightaway Cocktails and Salt & Straw.