The Team

Our Manifesto

We are poets, engineers, athletes, artists, lovers of nature and fanatics of tea. Together, our thirst for life and better health fuels a dedication to handcrafting unique teas that we know you’ll love. We strive to make each cup as timeless as the mountains around us, as innovative as our community. With one foot steeped in tradition and the other outstretched towards a healthier future, we hope to make loose-leaf tea your everyday luxury.

 
Maria Uspenski
Maria Uspenski
Founder and CEO Maria Uspenski is the innovative force behind our Steepware® designs. Drawing on her background as an MIT mechanical engineer, she is listed on four U.S. patents for Steepware® inventions. Also the inspiration behind our 10% Pledge to cancer and community wellness programs, Maria is on a mission to advance healthier living through whole leaf tea. Her upcoming book “Cancer Hates Tea” will be published by Page Street Books in 2016. She can also be found cycling over Rocky Mountain passes and speaking French to her sweet sassy dog, Dushka.
Jessica Kochik
Jessica Kochik
CMO Jessica Kochik is thrilled to combine her personal love of tea with her love of analytics and digital marketing. This love affair has allowed her to build our ecom channel with passion and an eye for design. A scientist by training, she’s a keen analytical thinker, project manager, and our in-house tea developer. This queen of shavasana loves yoga, lives to travel, and is the proud mama of two girls.
Mary Allard
Mary Allard
Sales and Community Outreach Manager, Mary, loves to tell The Tea Spot's story, share her passion for holistic health, and help provide the perfect cup of tea to her customers. You will find Mary slinging tea all over the state of Colorado with a car full of The Tea Spot goodies. This Colorado girl is innately drawn to the mountains to explore by bike or on foot.
Hope Larsen
Hope Larsen
Graphic Designer, Hope, loves the challenge of the blank canvas and thrives for the visual solution. Tea fuels her creative energy and satisfies her love and interest for natural food and beverages. In her free time you can find this born-and-raised Wisconsinite hiking, foraging, and cooking. She can also be found snapping photos of tea in precarious places throughout nature.
Jackie Hetzel
Jackie Hetzel
Service Rep extaordinaire, Jackie, will wow you with her great customer care. Coming from the wellness industry, she's no stranger to herbs and holistic remedies. She's a proud Hoosier from Indiana and mother of two vivacious girls. In her free time, Jackie volunteers with Extra Life to help raise money for Children's Hospital Colorado. Jackie also loves cats, crafts, and Comic-Con.
Jordan Overlie
Jordan Overlie
As the team's Operations Manager, Jordan delights in every detail that ensures the successful union of a tea-loving individual with the leaf of their choice. He is a lifelong student of the symbiotic relationship between humanity and camellia sinensis. His passions include conflict mediation and elegant solutions to complex obstacles. Jordan is also an avid cyclist and loves to sing.
Jane Schrag
Jane Schrag
Shipping and Receiving Manager, Jane, gets the job done with a brilliant smile and the finesse of a pro. Originally from New Zealand, this kiwi brings both experience and a positive attitude to the warehouse. As a mother of three teenagers, she's a pro at juggling schedules and deadlines. A generous foodie at heart, she also spoils us with gourmet homemade dishes for every celebration!
Shaunna Gapter
Shaunna Gapter
Bookkeeper extraordinaire, Shaunna Gapter, makes sure we are paid, paid up, and on the straight and narrow. This upbeat Colorado native is like a den mom to our team - a fantastic cook, mountain enthusiast, dog-lover, and the first person you'll invite to the party. She knows how to make a mean margarita!