Meet the Teamaker: Darren
Bringing vision, passion and expertise, we were very enthusiastic to welcome our CEO, Darren Marshall, to the Smith Teamaker Team starting in January 2018. After decades of experience with growing beverage brands as well as brands offering premium, high quality goods, we know he is a wonderful fit to continue bringing Smith to a cup near you.
While his business acumen is certainly impressive, we wanted to give a true Smith introduction of Darren with some of our favorite tea-inspired questions.
What excites you most about being part of the Smith Teamaker TEAm?
It’s very humbling to steward the work that Steven Smith started so many years ago. He developed an amazing sense of taste, style and creativity that is the very essence of our brand, and I’m so very excited to share that inspiration with the world.
After experiencing so many different parts of world, what is your favorite place you’ve ever lived?
I’ve had the great privilege of living in 12 cities in 6 countries, and while each experience has been extraordinary there is always a very special place for the exotic hustle of Hong Kong.
Moving to the west coast from New York, what is your favorite thing about Portland so far?
Beyond the shear physical beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Portland has an amazing sense of passion and creativity that you can see everywhere – from inspired chefs to digital revolutionaries to leading edge real estate developers.
What musician or album has made the biggest impact on you?
I bought my first vinyl copy of Keith Jarrett’s Köln Concert when I was in college and remember thinking how amazing it was to be able to express yourself with such passion and lyricism. Even today, as the best selling solo piano album of all time, it still stands out as being fresh and relevant.
If you could share a cup of tea with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Hard Choice! I’d love to spend time with Steve Jobs to understand what drove his conviction; with Gustav Klimt to delve into the inspiration that pushed him out of the box; or with Michael Ondaatje to learn how to tell stories that blend tragedy and beauty.
What is your favorite cup of Smith Tea?
Even harder choice. While I’m biased, every one of our signature blends has an extraordinary taste profile that really redefines the category. That said, a perfect day would start with Portland Breakfast, break the afternoon with White Petal and end with Meadow.