Heather Maccalous didn’t grow up as a tea drinker. In fact, she only drank big-name bagged tea when she was feeling sick. While on a trip to New Mexico in 2016 for a friend’s wedding, that all changed. At the time, Heather was working in the restaurant industry. From bartender to front of house to operations, she had done it all and learned about the values of customer service and leadership. But she also learned that the industry wasn’t where she wanted to be.
“I was at a point where I was feeling burnt out. When I was in New Mexico, I discovered the Old Barrel Tea Company,” said Heather. “It was a small, family-run operation, and I quickly fell in love with the people and the products. Dana is the matriarch of the family and a three-time cancer survivor. She attributes a lot of health and recovery to tea. Dana and her daughter, Bailey, decided to start the tea business. Bailey’s husband owns a winery, and when Dana created their first batch of tea, they sold it on an old wine barrel in a convenience store - thus, Old Barrel Tea Company was born.”
In 2015, Old Barrel Tea Company opened their first storefront in Ruidoso, New Mexico. When Heather returned home from the wedding, she knew she wanted to have a store in Colorado. With the support of her mom and the kindness of the Old Barrel Tea family, she was able to open the doors to a shop in Golden in 2018. “I always knew Boulder was a place I wanted to eventually have a storefront. When the timing and opportunity came into place this past year, I was thrilled to sign the lease on an East End location. In April of 2022, we officially opened in downtown Boulder.”
Old Barrel Tea Company offers a unique blend of teas and tools to brew your beverages at home. “When I first visited the store in New Mexico, I was blown away by how creative, delicious and healthy tea blends can be. I’ve gained so much knowledge in the tea industry over the years, and I’m always learning more from my customers that walk in the door. Coming from a background in beer and wine, I’ve loved learning new things every day.”
Boulder’s wellness-oriented community stuck out to Heather when deciding where to open another store. “Boulder is the perfect place for this type of business. The people here are very health-conscious, and we see a great mix of tourists and locals. Being part of the East End community is also really special. It’s a relaxed vibe, and I already have dedicated locals that come in to support my small business.”
Whether you’re an avid tea drinker or somewhat of a novice, stop by Old Barrel Tea Company and discover unique blends and creative flavors. “We do offer a variety of iced and hot teas in the store daily, so come inside, look around and enjoy a cup. If you end up liking us, tell your friends and family to pay us a visit, too! Word of mouth is so important for small businesses. And be sure to follow us on social media @oldbarrelteaco!”
Heather went from only ever drinking tea when she was feeling under the weather to enjoying tea in some form every single day. She proves that it’s never too late to discover a new passion and change your life. Stop by the store and say hello the next time you are downtown!
Old Barrel Tea Company
Boulder is the perfect place for this type of business. The people here are very health-conscious, and we see a great mix of tourists and locals.