- The Rubin Curriculum
- The Challenges Program
- Guest Entrepreneurs
- Student Ventures
Ron Rubin, Minister of Tea and Chief Executive Officer of The Republic of Tea is dedicated to enriching people’s lives through premium teas, education and innovation – emphasizing a “Sip by Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp” lifestyle!
Rubin sparked a specialty tea revolution in 1994 when he purchased The Republic of Tea, a twenty- two month old company, founded by the creators of Banana Republic. Since then he has been on a mission to seek out and procure only the most exquisite teas from the world’s premier tea gardens and make them accessible to people everywhere.
As Minister of Tea, Rubin introduced nearly 200 teas and tea-inspired products including unsweetened varietal glass bottled iced teas for fine restaurants, Be Well Red Teas, Superfruit Teas, exclusive Stir Fry Tea Oil, Little Citizens’ Herb Teas, motivational business books and tea ware. The Republic of Tea products are available nationwide through gourmet food stores, natural food merchants and select department stores, gift boutiques, cafés and restaurants and via the company’s website and mail-order catalogue.
Further, Rubin is mindful of how his company’s actions impact the greater community and actively supports worthy organizations like Susan G. Komen for the Cure, The Prostate Cancer Foundation, Room to Read, Sunny Hills Services, and The Ethical Tea Partnership.
In keeping with its whimsical identity as an independent Republic, Rubin designates employees as Ministers, sale representatives as Ambassadors, customers as Citizens and retail outlets as Embassies. An advocate of education and personal enrichment, each year he sends a contingent of Ministers and Ambassadors to visit a specific tea-growing region. To gain hands-on product knowledge as well as appreciation for the local culture, the team plucks tea alongside growers and workers in destinations the likes of China, Taiwan, India, South Africa and Japan.
Prior to The Republic of Tea, Rubin formed the Mount Vernon, Illinois based New Age Beverages in 1990. The company became the master licensee for Clearly Canadian Sparkling Water in the Southeastern United States. In a ten-state region, he created a network of over 100 distributors selling over 3,000,000 cases of Clearly Canadian
The beverage business is part of the Rubin lineage. Rubin entered the family wholesale business, Central Wholesale Liquor Co., located in Mount Vernon, upon graduation from Culver Military Academy in 1968 (Company D) and the University of Illinois. At the company for 22 years, he managed the distribution of wine, liquor and beer in 48 counties throughout Central and Southern Illinois, in addition to developing and introducing numerous new lines to the product portfolio. His son Todd, Minister of Evolution, joined The Republic of Tea in 2007.
Rubin, a native of Mount Vernon, divides his time between Missouri and California. He serves on the St. Louis Regional Board of Teach For America and is an Adjunct Professor at Saint Louis University where he teaches Selected Topics in Entrepreneurship while mentoring student entrepreneurs. Ron begins each day with a steaming cup of Republic Darjeeling.