David Segal, Founder Of David's Tea, On New IPO And Creating Products For Every Palate

On Friday, June 5, popular North American tea retailer David's Tea — founded in 2008 by cousins David and Herschel Segal — launched its initial public offering (DTEA on the Nasdaq) in New York City.

Contrary to what you may have seen in movies, it's not a bell, but a button that signals the opening of the Nasdaq stock market, Segal told The Daily Meal (though the button actually rings a bell).

The company estimated that its 5.1 million available shares would be offered between $14 and $16, which rose to $19 by late Thursday. By late Friday morning, shares of David's Tea had risen by more than a third of its IPO price, to roughly $25 a share.

For David, the company's namesake, the success of the public offering just means that more people will be able to appreciate the extensive variety of beverages on which David's Tea prides itself.

At the moment, David's has 161 stores across the United States and Canada, but the Segals have set a goal of opening more than 500 stores within the next several years. As for whether they'll hit the remaining continents, David says it's certainly possible, but "one thing at a time."

The current range of products includes more than 150 types of tea, from traditional styles to dozens of carefully curated, painstakingly tested contemporary flavors. David's Organic Cream of Earl Grey, for example, is based on the popular black tea blend with bergamot, but includes vanilla for a smoother taste.

Earl Grey was a real person, by the way, and one version of the tale has it that he was "a real lady's man in his time," in David's words. Grey received the gift of the bergamot citrus after saving the life of a Chinese nobleman's daughter, and the earl began flavoring his tea with the citrus oil from then on.

However, if you prefer something else, David's offers it — as tea continues to gain momentum in North America, David's Tea offers a spectrum of teas for any preference. Spicy, sweet, traditional, fruity — you name it.

And if in the past, you've shied away from tea because of the process it takes to brew loose tea, David's makes a whole product line to simplify that for you. From a reusable satchel for steeping to the perfect iced tea pitcher to molds for frozen tea pops, the appreciation for the art of creating a great cup of tea at David's is endless.

"Nobody was taking tea to this level before," Segal says. "We want people to walk into our stores and be able to travel through any style of tea, and really expand their palates and grow into different categories. We want to push the envelope of what tea can be."