Mark Sotomayor is a sophomore Entrepreneurship major at Grove City College. He is a tennis player, a member of the American Marketing Association, the Innovation Club, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. While Mark is heavily involved on campus, his creativity and hard work has placed him in a position to positively impact the environment around the world. With Grove City College’s support and standard of excellence, Mark has developed the Té Amo tea company as a means to reforest Haiti. With the catchy slogan, “Buy a Tea, Plant a Tree,” Mark has made massive strides in making his dream a reality.
Mark originally came up with the idea to sell bottled tea because he grew up drinking his grandmother’s special 30-year-old Peruvian recipe and wanted to share it with others. This past September his mother encouraged him to utilize his Grove City College entrepreneurship experience to take his tasty tea from the pitcher to the shelves. In six months, Mark and his team have been able to successfully brand Té Amo and have partnered with nine stores in which they sell!
When interviewing Mark about how he made all of this possible he commented how thankful he is to have a mother that keeps the business up and running while he focuses on his studies. He also noted the impact that the College has had on his business. “The entrepreneurship department has recently ‘stretched my entrepreneurial muscles’, so to speak, by challenging me and my team member, Ryan Budnik, to make the product better. I am more of a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ type of guy, and industry research isn’t my strong suit – so by being forced to research about the ready-to-drink tea market, I am becoming a much more well-rounded business owner/entrepreneur.” With so many people coming alongside Mark to answer questions and provide encouragement, Mark hopes to develop tea bags and eventually sell in Sheetz and Whole Foods. He exclaimed, “It will take years, but I’m pumped for the journey!”