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Meet The Team

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Kristy Benson-Amarante

Owner, Tea Artist, Workaholic 

Hi! I'm Kristy, owner of Bittersweet Farm. My journey began in Old Saybrook in 2015, and we relocated our farm to Higganum in 2020. I accidentally fell into making tea, and about 5 years ago, I began seriously studying herbs and honing my tea-making skills. As much as I love to grow things, I also love to create and make teas. I love nothing more than to hear that my tea helped someone feel better, help them fall asleep at night, or brought them or a loved one some comfort in a stressful time. I take what I do rather seriously, and am passionate about creating teas that people need. I am sure that I have found my niche in the world, and I wake up every day grateful for this roller coaster of an adventure! 

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Elaina Benson

Keeper of the books, Bagger and Tagger, Sister

I'm lucky to have this smart, strong sister behind me every step of the way- in business and in life. She not only does the books, but you'll catch her behind the table at events with me, and she's usually behind the scenes before big events helping us get ready. 

Thanks to Elaina practically pushing me out the door to do my first market in 2015, our little business took off. If it weren't for her encouragement and help, who knows how long it would have taken me to get out that door!

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Frank Amarante

Hubby, Bagger and Tagger, QC. 

Frank dedicates so much time and energy to the farm and the tea business, as well as the gardens and many years at the farmers market - and that's when he's not at his full-time job! In essence, he does what needs to be done, and is my literal right-hand man, my first reader, sounding board, full-time support system, and best friend. 
Frank is an avid sports fan and can be found selling tea on the weekends at various events, and he'd love nothing more than to talk sports instead of tea! (Although he knows a great deal about tea too!) 

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Alexa

Aesthetic Coordinator, Bistro Barista

Alexa is one smart cookie and managed to graduate high school early! Over the last many years, she devoted many of her summer days to helping her dear old mom run the farmers market in our town. She fills in at events when needed and can be coerced into bagging tea when needed. She critiques color and style choices regarding Bittersweet products and has named quite a few teas over the years. Most recently, she can be found working part time at the Bistro.

In her spare time, she writes poetry, sings, and is a fire spinner/performer. She'll be off to college in the fall but promises to come home now and then! 

OUR MISSION

"...concentric circles of healing [start] with ourselves, our friends, our family, circling outwards to our communities and from there into the bigger circles of the world." ~ Rosemary Gladstar ~

How Our Story Began
...and the mini-story of how we got our name

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In 2015, my family and mother moved onto a small farm because I had a dream of running my own farm one day. On moving day, my mother and then 9-year-old daughter took a break from unpacking and I found them outside making a wreath from bittersweet vines that surrounded what was to be our new garden fence. My mother, a master gardener before there was such a thing, could make a wreath out of anything you gave her. So, they proudly hung this wreath on our new front door and we went about settling in. Months later, as I was planning my veggie and small animal farm, I asked the living room at large what we should name our farm. Needless to say, it was immediately unanimous. 

During our first few years in business, we sold crop shares, raised small animals, and sold at farmers markets. A tea or two found their way onto our market tables and into our weekly crop share boxes and they were a hit! As those years passed, I studied herbs and practiced blending teas and received so much positive feedback. People felt that this was something they needed and wanted, and I enjoyed the entire process so much that our farm and business slowly transitioned away from crop shares and into tea. By 2019, we were all tea, all the time, yet our name was still Bittersweet Farm. It wasn't until 2021 when I was meeting with business moguls and advisors that they suggested that the name of our business didn't fit what we did, for a few reasons. We mulled this over, tossed out many ideas, and decided that we would transition to Bittersweet Tea Company, although we are still technically a farm and grow many herbs here for our teas. Eventually, we thought that we would lose the name 'Bittersweet' altogether, as it doesn't quite seem like a word that goes with a cup of tea. Generally, I make any changes in the winter and roll out anything new before spring hits so I sat with this idea over the 2022 holidays and into the first of the year. Then, in mid-January '23 (as I write this it was only 2 weeks ago), my mother passed away unexpectedly. To say that I am heartbroken and a little bit lost would be an understatement. But now, as I design a new website and roll out the idea of 'Bittersweet Tea Company' I know in my heart that that will remain our name. My mother was an entrepreneur herself and her knowledge, guidance, support, and downright cheerleading gave me the courage to start this business 7 years ago. I will never forget my mother and daughter making that wreath and then proudly shouting out the name 'Bittersweet Farm.'

That is how we began this adventure, and that is how we shall remain.

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