Families and Companies Created around Grandma’s Table!
The Chief Blonde (middle..beige overalls) with her cousins and Grandma
When I was little, my family and I went to visit my grandma and grandpa at least once a week. When we weren’t outside helping Grandma with her flowers…
or playing in Grandpa’s apple orchard…
we were in the house..almost always sitting around Grandma’s table.
Grandma’s table was a light blonde faux wood formica number, edged in chrome, from the late ’40s/early ’50s. It was truly resilient and lasted her until the day she died at 86. A lot happened around that table. Grandpa cut all his grandsons’ hair at the table…
The Chief Blonde’s brother loving his buzz cut from Grandpa
We played games, especially with the Carrom board around Grandma’s table…
The Chief Blonde in a lovely purple dress with her brother…can’t imagine why I was making that face?
We grandchildren ate a lot of foods around Grandma’s table, not just meals, but tons of yummy snacks.
Grandma would toast the large four square saltine crackers (why don’t they make these big saltines anymore???) and then butter them, topping off the whole concoction with her homemade strawberry freezer jam. The salty and the sweet combo of this snack was divine!
Of course, the adults enjoyed Grandma’s table too. Loud card games (with tons of swearing and insults) went on deep into the night as the grandchildren attempted to sleep in various bedrooms.
Look at the men smoking right in the house! Smoking cigars no less, right at Grandma’s table! You could have cut through the smoke with a knife, it was so thick. These were different times indeed!
Almost every birthday was celebrated at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
And every holiday, for years, we wore our Sunday best, ate special family dishes, and drank tea around Grandma’s table.
The Chief Blonde’s grandmother (in gray) and her brother enjoy tea and cake
My grandparents worked hard to create wonderful family memories for us. They shared their hopes and dreams and memories as we gathered around Grandma’s table, and as a result, they created a wonderful close loving family that blooms to this day.
Around Grandma’s Table with Bigelow Tea
This is why Bigelow Tea and its history means so much to me. Cindi Bigelow, third-generation owner and company president, tells the story of how Bigelow tea was created around her Grandma’s table.
The company was started by my grandmother back in 1945 in her kitchen..(by) Ruth Campbell Bigelow and her husband David. They worked together. Really, what happened is..she was an interior designer, she lost everything during the depression. She wanted to get into business for the family, didn’t think we had a good tea, and created this wonderful product from an old colonial recipe and named it Constant Comment. That’s really what started us… I always like people (customers, employees) to remember our company roots, our history, it is that what makes this company so special. We are the number one specialty tea company in the country and I am convinced it’s because of the family aspect!
Bigelow’s Constant Comment Tea, a beautiful black tea with orange rind and black spice, is America’s favorite specialty tea to this day! Ruth Campbell Bigelow couldn’t have realized the impact that she would make on generations of her family or America as she toiled in her kitchen and around her table to develop and create one of this country’s most iconic products. I know my family has always enjoyed Bigelow products. My husband, Walt, is currently hooked on Bigelow’s green tea blends while I love Orange & Spice Herb Tea.
Bigelow Tea’s Founders Ruth and David Bigelow serving tea around their table
I admire Ruth, the company’s founder, and current president, Cindi Bigelow, for keeping this personal family element of pride in their product lines. Did you know that family members are involved in the creation, development and tasting of every new product to this day? While both my grandmother and Cindi Bigelow’s grandmother have now passed from this earth, I can almost see Ruth Campbell Bigelow smiling as she watches over her family with pride, just as surely as my grandmother must be!
Blog Note: The Chief Blonde was not compensated in any manner for this post. I wrote this as an entry in a contest for a trip to Bigelow Tea’s Plantation in Charleston, NC. Should I win, my date will be my loving husband Walt but I’ll bring a picture of Grandma, because she would have loved to sit around Cindy Bigelow’s table as well!
UPDATE: The Chief Blonde was chosen to attend a special event in Charleston based on this post. She is extremely grateful to Collective Bias, Bigelow tea and everyone who supported her in this post!
SEE ALL THE ARTICLES IN OUR TEA SERIES