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THE TEAM

Gilbert Tsang

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1. Who are you, what do you do? Gilbert Tsang - Owner. I wear many hats and do a little bit of everything, but don't need to be an expert in any one area because my staff rocks.

2. How do you spend your free time? My free time is spent oscillating between two extremes - working out and running, and thinking about my next meal.

3. If you found a genie who would grant you 3 wishes? The abilities to fly, time travel, and be invisible (yes, all with one wish), banish Donald Trump to Iraq, Syria, or Mexico, and a full year being a snowbum while chasing snow in two hemispheres.

4. Why tea? Tea...because it exudes an aura behind its origin, evokes mystique from the distant lands that it comes from, and carries with it a long complicated history; at the same time still being considered nouveau, and always being delicious, healthy and sexy.

 

Meg Tartasky

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1. Who are you, what do you do? Chief of Sales & Operations I listen to film scores while drinking tea and thinking about how I can bring it to you.

2. How do you spend your free time? I am a self identified Netflix binger. I also love to spend weekends in my kitchen listening to fantasy audiobooks while baking bread, making pesto, spicing my own rum, or canning something.

3. If you found a genie who would grant you 3 wishes? I would give it to my husband because I wouldn't believe it was real, he's more open to believing in things we can't explain. He's also more socially conscious than I am so he'd make really great wishes that encompass good things for everyone.

4. Why tea? The great thing about tea is there is at least one tea if not dozens out there just for you. Tea encompasses the full spectrum of flavor profiles. It can be light and floral, vegetal with mineral notes, rich and buttery, heavy and creamy, or robust with a caramel finish. It can take me to a beach on a lake on a hot summer day, or to a cabin in the woods surrounded by dense snow while cuddling under a blanket and listening to Bing Crosby. Every day I love tea just a little bit more; if you make it a daily part of your life, I guarantee you will too.

 

Michaela Thompson

1. Who are you, what do you do? Michaela Thompson, Tasting Room Manager - Terrible joke teller extraordinaire.

2. How do you spend your free time? Between work l travel. Part of relaxing for me is continuing my search for a gummy bear that has a better tooth feel and flavor than Haribo, I have yet to discover this gummy bear.

3. If you found a genie who would grant you 3 wishes? A limitless airplane ticket, a bottomless stomach, and world peace.

4. Why tea? MEM romanced me with their small dedicated staff who works tirelessly to produce and sell great tea products in a close family atmosphere. I am the fun loving, awful joke telling uncle who dances poorly at weddings. It's good to know your role in your work force and in life. Also, tea is delicious!

 

Suanne Scalise

1. Who are you, what do you do? Suanne. I'm the director of Training and Education and I develop the curriculum for public tastings and events. I came to Boston to study art and found myself managing a coffee shop. Wierd, right? Our cafe started selling whole leaf tea and I had to study up because tea was still pretty obscure around here. I've been studying up ever since.

2. How do you spend your free time? Depends on the time of year. In the winter I hibernate. In the milder months I enjoy spending time outdoors. On the weekends you'll find me gardening, grilling, building fires and visiting friends. All of this depends upon the friends because I have no yard.

3. If you found a genie who would grant you 3 wishes? One. No more Winter. Two. Cottage by the Sea. Three. Boat!

4. Why tea? It's extremely diverse. Most people I meet drink at least one kind of tea for pleasure. Warmth, refreshment, health or well-being... There's a tea for that! I explain the merits of drinking tea and people tell me the reasons why they already do. I love the stories.

 

Alex Keaney

1. Who are you, what do you do? Alex, I process orders from customers, and coordinate with shippers and packers. I also play with money.

2. How do you spend your free time? Playing and producing music, and of course drinking tea.

3. If you found a genie who would grant you 3 wishes? For everyone in the world to have fresh drinking water, an end to racism, and an Xbox.

4. Why tea? Why not, it's kind of amazing.

 

Brooks Firth Bard

1. Who are you, what do you do? Brooks, the Sales Rep for Cambridge/Somerville. I contact new customers and make sure our current customers achieve their goals with their tea program.

2. How do you spend your free time? Tea parties and toy truck rallies with Alice, my one year old daughter. Day/weekend trips around New England with the family. And working through my endless media queues - stacks of books, Netflix, Kindle queue, Spotify lists, etc.

3. If you found a genie who would grant you 3 wishes? Unlimited frequent flyer miles, no restrictions. Good health for me and my family. One of those food replicators from Star Trek: TNG - "Earl Grey, hot."

4. Why tea? Like many people at MEM, I started in coffee. In moving to tea, I found a whole other world I could learn about that was directly related to my coffee knowledge, and yet set apart and refreshingly new. I feel that tea culture is growing fast in this country and it is exciting to be a part of it.

 

Eugene Chang

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1. Who are you, what do you do? Eugene Chang, Warehouse Manager, Tea Mixer Extraordinaire, Part-time Scapegoat and Full-Time caffeine drinker. Basically, maintain warehouse workflow and product levels, intake new teas and supplies, mix (or find a way to mix) all our proprietary blends, nod and say "yes" anytime Gil yells at me.

2. How do you spend your free time? Sleeping, sleeping and more sleeping. Trying (and usually failing) to catch the first run on my snowboard, looking for the most delicious brunch in Boston, and learning how to cook the best Korean food possible in a belated attempt to gain the approval of my strict asian mother. Netflix during lunch and NPR on the ride home.

3. If you found a genie who would grant you 3 wishes? My own personal IKEA, a husky that doesn't shed, and a lifetime supply of Kirkland Brand toilet paper.

4. Why tea? Healthier than soda, tastier than coffee, and cheaper than whisky.

 

Ian Tartasky

1. Who are you, what do you do? Ian Tartasky, Marketing Director, Designer, Creative

2. How do you spend your free time? Buried in headphones, sipping tea, and creating, painting, designing, building, or coding. Or casually strolling around with no rush to get to my destination. Or caring for my at-home-jungle. Or worrying about important social issues. Or cuddling with my wife while overindulging on some Netflix.

3. If you found a genie who would grant you 3 wishes? My genie would be so impatient. I'm not a very impulsive person. I would calculate the perfect way to benefit myself and the world with 2 wishes. I'd probably never get to that 3rd wish... Though, I have always wanted my own dragon... Few extra arms, maybe?

4. Why tea? I have a lot on my plate. I began drinking tea because coffee crashes are the worst, not to mention coffee tummy. I began with iced tea, (Golden Green really, when I was managing Cafenation, in Brighton), I must have been drinking almost a gallon a day. Once I got the job at MEM I fell into the tea hole really hard. Now I don't even have enough room at my house for all my tea and accessories. Ooof. I never thought I'd find something I was as passionate about as being creative, but I did. Thank the gods.