Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dan Klein, CEO of Tiesta Tea, located in Chicago, IL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Tiesta Tea is all about bringing great loose leaf tea blends to people all throughout the United States!

Tell us about yourself

We first got the idea to start Tiesta Tea during a study abroad trip in college. My business partner and best friend Patrick Tannous (our president and my co-founder) were in Europe during the same semester and took a weekend trip to Prague. Wandering around Prague, we saw tea houses on every corner, and they were all serving loose leaf tea. We wondered why it was so hard to find loose leaf tea in the United States and felt we could translate that Prague experience to people back home.

Shortly after, Tiesta Tea was born! My motivation comes from so many different areas, but when I hear a customer say that we converted them to lose leaf tea after drinking tea bags and/or coffee their whole life, it is an amazing feeling. I am also motivated to drive success for our entire organization, provide quality jobs and give back through our Tiesta Tea Foundation.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Tiesta Tea has been on the Inc 5000 list four times in the last five years. To make that list, your business must achieve a certain growth rate, and we are thankful to have been able to do exactly that.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is having the constant pressure to perform at a very high level, no matter the circumstance.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Listen to your customer.
  2. Outwork your competition.
  3. Stay positive even amidst major challenges.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.