REVEREND BECCA STEVENS is an Episcopal priest serving as chaplain at St. Augustine’s at Vanderbilt University, and founder of Magdalene and Thistle Farms, social enterprises for women recovering from violence, prostitution, and addiction. She has been hailed by The New York Times, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, NPR, CNN, PBS, Publishers Weekly, and Christian Century. The Small Business Council of America named her the Humanitarian of the Year in 2014. Thistle Farms products are sold in 380 stores nationwide.
Becca Stevens is a White House Champion of Change and she is fueling a worldwide movement to bring fair wages to women in her new book, The Way of Tea and Justice: Rescuing the World’s Favorite Beverage from Its Violent History (Jericho Books/Hachette Book Group).
Thistle Stop Café opened in 2013 to further empower women survivors. But when she discovered a connection between café workers and tea laborers overseas, she embarked on a global mission called “Shared Trade” to bring freedom and fair wages to women tea producers around the globe—especially those trapped by trafficking, oppression, and opiate wars.
As she recounts the victories and challenges of building the café, Stevens shares the personal stories of café workers, tea laborers, and volunteers whose lives were transformed. Amid heartfelt stories of justice and healing, each chapter includes recipes for tea blends that readers can make themselves.
Like the best of the culinary exposé genre, Stevens also sweeps the reader into the world of tea, where timeless rituals transport to an era of beauty and challenging truths about tea’s darker, more violent history are exposed.
“More than sweet thoughts, tea can become an economic powerhouse that transforms the history of communities. Tea can be a source of economic independence for women, instead of a source of oppression.”
Magdalene, Stevens’ residential model, serves women recovering from prostitution, trafficking, and addiction for two years at no cost to residents. Thistle Farms employs residents and graduates of Magdalene to manufacture, market, and sell all natural bath and beauty products in over 380 stores nationwide.