“Pairing great teas with great food makes sense,” says Kate Dos Santos, Minister ofCeremonies and Philanthropy for The Republic of Tea. The Novato company has signed up as premier sponsor of six chef events in 2015.
Founded in 1992, The Republic of Tea embraces the ancient Chinese philosophy of “ta shun” – the Great Harmony. Ta shun is “alive when people naturally care about the world and depend on one another for the well-being of the whole,” according to The Republic of Tea website.
The sponsor provides tea matched to recipes served at the events, each featuring a celebrity chef for an evening dinner that benefits shelter and job-training services for homeless adults at Homeward Bound of Marin. As a purveyor of all things tea, the company has a perfect choice for everyone: a biodynamic tea for Chef Bryant Terry’s vegan food, a Lemon Chiffon tea for a Della Fattoria bakery event.
In addition, The Republic of Tea is underwriting the costs of six events, allowing more of the revenue to go toward Homeward Bound’s services.
The Republic of Tea supports a broad spectrum of nonprofit organizations involved with hunger, education, medical needs and environmental concerns. In some cases, the company develops tea and tea-inspired items for the purpose of supporting causes through their sales, such as a watermelon-hibiscus tea for Action Against Hunger.
As neighbors of Homeward Bound — the company’s headquarters are about a half-mile from Homeward Bound’s main housing and job-training campus – The Republic of Tea has become acquainted with the organization in a more personal way, Dos Santos says. Employees receive two days per year to volunteer; a number have chosen to spend that time in the Homeward Bound garden or packaging gourmet products made by students and staff in the culinary job-training program.
Partnering with a local program that trains people—particularly low-income and homeless individuals—for food-service jobs is a natural fit, Dos Santos says. She looks forward to attending more chef events, complete with delicious tea. — Contributed by Carol Inkellis with photos courtesy of Neely Wang and The Republic of Tea.