steaz awards

Building Blog Karma: A Message from Eric

Eric SchnellHi. My name is Eric Schnell. I am the co-founder of The Healthy Beverage Company, the maker of organic and fair trade certified Steaz Organic Iced Teas, Steaz Sparkling Green Teas and Steaz Energy Fuel drinks. My business partner, Steve and I started this company seven years ago. In those days, the two of us were the management, marketing and sales departments, as you can see in this photo, hitting one store at a time.



We started the company because we believed business didn't have to mean 'business as usual'. We espoused the triple bottomline principals of people, planet and profit before the concept had a name. We believed profit could be generated to create social benefit, such as job creation, vs. social harm - profit at the expense of others. The product idea was simple; offer consumers a healthy alternative to soda. What better place to prove our ideas and our beliefs than an industry infamously known for being unhealthy. In late 2002, we started our company and offered Steaz Sparkling Green Tea. It was the first green tea sparkling drink, and the first USDA organic-certified carbonated soft drink.

I grew up in a vegetarian, spiritually-minded, hippie household in Boston in the '70s. We had a garden in the backyard, a meditation/yoga room in our home and solar panels on our roof. As kids, my sisters and I complained about our ugly-looking vegetables and our school lunches which weren't anything like what other kids where bringing to the cafeteria.

Today of course, I'm thankful for that upbringing which gave me the chance to be in and around the natural foods industry and to recognize it's not just about what we put in our bodies, but also how those choices affect our world. For me, Steaz is an extension of who I am.

I believe in doing right just because it's the right thing to do. I believe that whatever you do in life has a karmic effect. It comes back to you.These are simple philosophies, but executing them in the soft drink industry has given our company an interesting perspective. It's a perspective we'd like to share with you.

I'm still new to this online community scene but I recognize it's a great opportunity for us to have a conversation with you. Steaz will share what we've learned about our industry, give you an inside look at what makes Steaz, Steaz and offer information that can help you make healthy food and beverage choices. In turn, we look forward to hearing from you; likes, dislikes, concerns and observations.

So many people are talking about being green, organic, all-natural, fair-trade and... you can fill in an ever-growing list of buzzwords here. I am thrilled that these principals are gaining wider acceptance. Yet, I worry that consumers are beginning to tune-out what they perceive as 'hype'. How can discerning consumers separate fact from fiction or recognize the difference between companies that are greenwashing and companies that are the real thing?

It is my hope that through this blog, you'll hear an authentic voice in the industry. We can't simply tell you about the Steaz brand, we'll have to show you. Ultimately it is our actions as a company that I trust you will find most distinctive, but ultimately the decision is up to you. Please put us to the test. I don't think you'll be disappointed. If we do disappoint, let us know. We have and will continue to listen, because we recognize that we are all a part of the same universe. We are all seeking a higher state of knowledge and understanding in our life journey. It's the exchange of ideas that keeps us moving forward.

So here we go. It's time for Steaz to get in touch with its inner blogger!




Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to note that I will be working on this blog with my team here at Steaz. When I have written a post, I will sign it with my name. Other posts will be written by our team and show only as 'Steaz'. We may also have guest bloggers who will of course introduce themselves. However, I am closely involved; receiving comments directly and giving input and approval on all the posts that are made. 


  1. @ParkRidgeDDS
    Love the history of the company - makes you so very credible. I laughed at the imagery you shared about your funny looking lunches prepared by "hippie" parents - all in the name of love, of course. And now....these many years later, your roots embrace who you've become. Credible. So, thanks for blogging and thanks for a great and healthy (truly) product line.
    January 20, 2010
  2. Brandie
    So glad to see the blog! And that you are sharing with us! =)
    January 20, 2010
  3. Stacey / Create a Balance
    Blog karma makes the world go round. Welcome to the blogosphere. Since we met, my family has been stocking the frig with Steaz!
    January 20, 2010
  4. Steaz
    Wow, we are grateful for all the Steaz love! @ParkRidgeDDS, yes, Eric has lots of interesting stories which we plan to share here @Brandie, thanks for the support and for this amazing post on your blog about Steaz @Stacey/Create a Balance, thanks for the welcome, glad your family is enjoying Steaz!
    January 21, 2010
  5. Eric
    Thanks for all the great comments. I'm excited to be able to share and appreciate the feedback that is given. Cheers, Eric
    January 21, 2010
  6. Anonymous
    I love your key lime green tea, but wholefoods never seems to have it in stock, so I tried the lemon-lime unfortunately it taste like drinking 7up very disappointing.
    February 11, 2010

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