When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Basalt-based tea company Two Leaves and a Bud started thinking about how they could help. CEO Rich Rosenfeld said the decision was easy.
“We thought, well, who needs tea? Well, healthcare facilities, senior centers, doctors offices, people who are stuck where they are, and can use a really good cup of tea,” Rosenfeld said.
Since the outbreak began, the company has sent tea care packages to 25 such facilities around the Western Slope. Two Leaves and a Bud is also taking recommendations for other places to send care packages, which has already seen tea shipped as far as New York and Ohio.
“One of the nicest things is that we get handwritten notes from people saying thank you very much,” Rosenfeld said. “And honestly it just about brings tears to my eyes. It was really just nice to get that started.”
At Renew, an assisted living facility in Glenwood Springs, staff and residents alike have appreciated the delivery.
Because many residents are considered high-risk, the facility is not allowing visitors. That means residents can only see their families through the window over FaceTime, and meal deliveries are some of the only in-person visits throughout the day.
Susan Thomas, Renew’s dietary director, is often the one bringing meals to those residents.
“I've been able to make a stronger connection with these visits,” Thomas said. “Just having that one-on-one time is meaningful because they're not able to see their families right now. That's a big change.”
Thomas says sitting and chatting over a cup of tea is a great way to spend time with residents.
“They're telling stories about their childhood, just what they enjoy.” Thomas said. “I'm learning a lot about the residents as well because this has just given me another opportunity to have meaningful connections.”