Two of Boulder, Colo.’s specialty tea companies, Cooper Tea Co. and Third Street Chai, announced on May 19 that they have signed a definitive agreement to merge. Both companies will operate independently under the DrinkWorks banner. The merger will enable them to leverage relevant brand and positioning strengths, forming a larger foundation for growth for each within their respective markets.
Cooper Tea and Third Street will offer a combined product portfolio that will serve both the natural/organic and conventional grocery markets as well as restaurants, coffee shops and other foodservice operations.
Cooper Tea crafts premium organic and conventional iced tea and tea-related beverages, including B.W. Cooper’s Iced Brew Tea-brand products. Additionally, Cooper Tea brings its global sourcing relationships and national foodservice network to DrinkWorks.
Third Street Chai brings its own proprietary brew process and production facility, which brew organic and Fair Trade chai teas, yerba maté and lemonade beverage concentrates under the Third Street and Pixie Maté brands. Third Street also is in the natural grocery marketplace.
Last summer, the companies jointly launched a co-branded line of iced tea concentrates in two Whole Foods Market regions. The partnership clearly presented the strong synergies of both companies, and its success led to the eventual merger.
Chairman and CEO of Cooper Tea Barry Cooper says the two tea companies have no overlap in distribution and sales channels.
John Simmons, president of Third Street, will join the Cooper Tea board of directors as part of the merger and remain president of Third Street.