Honest Tea was born out of co-founder Seth Goldman's suburban Maryland kitchen in 1998. It took eight years of long days, persistence and resilience to make the beverage start-up profitable. And there were plenty of setbacks along the way.
One of the lowest points came in 2003, five years into the beverage company's life but still three years out from the point at which it would become profitable. Thanks to a production fluke, bottles of Honest Tea appeared on the shelves of Whole Foods with glass shards inside.
"There were a lot of blisters in the glass. Literally, you could look at it and see little bubbles. And so we ran it on the production line and the way the line works is that if sees a defect in the bottle it is supposed to kick it out, reject the bottle," says Goldman, in an interview on the startup podcast, "How I Built This."
"But the line didn't do that."
Instead, defective bottles of Honest Tea arrived at Whole Foods ready for sale, says Goldman.