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White Lion Tea is a boutique food and beverage company that has grown from the simple concept of incorporating affordable luxuries into everyday life. It started in 1998, with an introduction of Kathryn Petty to Aubrey Franklin, Tea Ambassador and former spokesman for the United States Tea Council. This introduction led to a partnership and the development of the Sir Aubrey’s Fine English Iced Teas brand, which in one year grew from Kathryn’s kitchen to 1,000 retail outlets. In 2000, the successful iced tea company, which had grown both in size and depth, was renamed to showcase an emerging line of hot teas.
Today, White Lion Tea has become an established luxury brand offering an assortment of high quality, whole leaf, hand-harvested teas, as well as Honey Pearls®, Spa Ciao®, and other gifts and amenities, packaged to appeal to national and International wholesalers and distributors, as well as retail consumers. Impressive White Lion or private-label packaging is also available, which can be custom designed to fit the look and feel of any business. White Lion’s numerous distribution channels include Amazon, Atlanta Foods International, Sysco, and Universal Companies; and businesses such as Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, MGM, Gaylord and Holland America proudly offer its products.
Kathryn Petty, President & Founder
Kathryn Petty, President and founder of White Lion Tea, entered the business world at the age of 17 with a clerical position at a State Farm Insurance agency. After earning a dual degree in nursing and business, Kathryn established her own State Farm agency in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Over the course of 15 years she developed this branch into a multimillion-dollar business, and sold the agency in 1994.
Her passion for life and natural entrepreneurial talent led her to a second career in the “lifestyle” industry, namely, tea. Kathryn founded Sir Aubrey’s Tea Company in 1998, but it wasn’t until 2000 that the dominant White Lion brand emerged.
She became certified with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council in 2003. An active member, Kathryn served as the WBEC-West Arizona Vice-Chair in 2010, progressing to the WBEC-West Arizona Forum Chair in 2011.
White Lion Tea, with its award-winning packaging, is served in some of the world’s finest resorts and spas and has earned a customer base that is the envy of the industry. Under Kathryn’s leadership, White Lion aligned with Universal Companies in 2010 to provide distribution to resorts, spas, and salons across the United States and abroad. White Lion products are available through Avendra-approved Atlanta Foods International and Sysco Foods nationwide.
The growth of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based White Lion Tea over the years has taken it from small, 1,200-square-foot administrative offices to a 6,600-square-foot office and warehouse facility, designed to house all the company’s administrative and production operations under one roof. The new facility also reflects the timeless, elegant and memorable elements of the one-and-only White Lion Tea brand.
On a daily basis, White Lion strives to maintain a clean, safe, and friendly working environment. It conforms to HACCP standards with an annual inspection, and is also Certified Organic through Quality Assurance International (QAI).
In addition to providing space for administrative offices and production, the White Lion office and warehouse also houses equipment used to package both pyramid-shaped tea sachets and Honey Pearls® sticks, giving the company the utmost control over the quality and value its passes along to its customers.