Sweet tea is the quintessential beverage of the South.
The Southern staple regularly shows up at family suppers, picnics, football games, cocktail parties, and wedding receptions, where many folks literally drink it like water.
But not all sweet tea is created equal. For many across the South, Alabama-based Milo’s Tea is their go-to tea of choice.
The third-generation family owned and certified Woman Owned Business has quickly become an America, and international — Milo’s has won or placed in the Global Tea Championships for seven years and counting — favorite in recent years.
On Tuesday, in light of their ongoing success, the company announced the opening of their newly expanded campus in Bessemer, Ala. Boasting over 150,000-sq. ft. of tea-making materials, the facility is located on 15.5-acres and employs more than 155 people.
“Milo’s continued growth is a testimony to our investment in our people, the quality of our products and the support of our loyal fans,” said Patricia Wallwork, CEO of Milo’s Tea Company. “When my grandfather founded our business in 1946 his motto was, ‘use high-quality ingredients, listen to your customers and never sacrifice taste.’ More than 70 years later, Milo’s mission remains the same.”
Working with the City of Bessemer, Milo’s Tea made water filtration upgrades and installed water treatment buildings to filter City of Bessemer water for consistent product quality. The company also unveiled a Quality Assurance Lab, which provides employees with the opportunity to maintain rigorous quality testing, tasting, and training programs with two added walk-in coolers for stress testing at various temperatures.
“Milo’s Tea sources 25% of their products from Alabama and a shift was added at Pratt Industries in Jefferson County this year to cover their production needs,” said Brian Hilson, President and CEO, Birmingham Business Alliance. “Milo’s is truly invested in both the Bessemer and Birmingham communities.”
Milo’s Makes a Difference program incorporates sustainability and stewardship efforts to give back to the communities they serve. Over one percent of Milo’s profits are donated, and they have also implemented programs to ensure the facilities on their campus produce zero waste.
“We’re proud of Milo’s as a company and the overall growth of the brand through the past fifteen years here in the City of Bessemer. Milo’s is a great corporate partner, and we were thrilled to work with them on this latest expansion,” said City of Bessemer Mayor, Kenneth E. Gulley. “Milo’s success is the city of Bessemer’s success, and we’re honored to know as they expand into new markets across the country their product is stamped as ‘Made in Bessemer, Alabama.’”
Milo’s efforts for consistency in quality and taste are what have helped make it retail favorite.
Southern Living Magazine recently recognized the “Milo’s Difference” in a feature stating, “What we love most about Milo’s Sweet Tea is that it’s made exactly the same way as it was on day one—just the same as my grandmother makes it: fresh-brewed tea, water, and sugar.”
Milo’s was founded as a restaurant in 1946 by Milo and Bea Carlton after Milo returned from serving the United States in World War II. His philosophy was simple – use high quality, natural ingredients, listen to your customers and never sacrifice taste.
Milo’s vision still guides the company today as they source natural ingredients, fresh brew all of their teas and never use added colors or preservatives.