In four short years, Los Angeles native Dawn Patton has taken Try My T, a gourmet iced tea, and turned into an award-winning brand that has successfully navigated its way into major sports stadiums, including the Los Angeles Coliseum and Los Angeles’ newest addition, the 22,000 capacity Banc of California Stadium.
That’s no small feat considering Patton is the first and currently only local African American female iced tea vendor to secure placement in two Los Angeles sports stadiums.
Today Patton announced the brand will celebrate yet another milestone later this month when, for the first time, it will be available in a sleek 20 oz., recyclable PET bottle. Previously it was only available as a fresh pour at local festivals.
The unveiling of the PET bottle is the latest development in the forward movement of the brand that in a few short years has shaken up the iced tea industry by becoming a fan favorite at festivals, winning prestigious awards over more established industry leaders and by securing exclusive sports stadium placement.
Try My T, an iced tea that is lightly sweetened with a unique blend of fruit and a hint of mint was started when a family friend gave Patton’s daughter the recipe to help her make extra money for her college expenses. The daughter went to various parks to sell the iced tea, and would say, “Would you Try My Tea”? The name stuck, the iced tea took on a life of its own, and the rest is history.
“This is an exciting time, said Dawn Patton, owner of Try My T. “It’s been a labor of love, and an exciting journey up to now. It’s been a long time coming, but we wanted to wait until we could give the public our very best.”
A former journalist and investigative reporter, Patton, who admittedly didn’t know anything about the highly-competitive world of beverages when she started, has quickly taken her female owned minority business and positioned it as a powerhouse brand. She joins the wave of women of color who are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America. Reportedly, there has been a 322% increase in Black women-owned businesses within the past 20 years.
In 2017, Patton became the first and only iced tea vendor with the new Los Angeles Football Club. She is set to debut the new PET bottle at the Banc of California Stadium at LAFC’s season opener. Banc of California Stadium officially opens for business on April 29, when the club will host its first home game.
Patton also succeeded in becoming the first and only gourmet iced tea merchant at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for USC Trojan football games. TMT has been such a hit that it was recently invited to sell the brand at a coveted spot at Los Angeles Rams football games at the Coliseum for the 2018-2019 season.
Patton, who is proud to be a local, minority-owned women business, describes the product as “the ultimate iced tea experience.”
“We refer to it as the “ultimate iced tea experience’ because that’s what it is,” said Patton. “To watch the expressions and hear the comments from people when they drink it is validation that we have a winner. It’s a secret recipe. It doesn’t taste like anything they’ve ever tasted before. That’s what makes it unique.”
Try My T won the best Ready-to-Drink Flavored Iced Tea category in 2017, at the very first People’s Choice award at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas. TMT beat out 13 major iced teas in the market. The brand also took the Bronze Medal at the Global Tea Championships in 2017.