Meet The Woman Still Making Milo’s Sweet Tea The Best Drink In The South

Stacey Leasca
Meet The Woman Still Making Milo’s Sweet Tea The Best Drink In The South

Put simply, Milo’s Tea is a great Southern tradition. The company, which was founded by Milo and Beatrice Carlton in Alabama in 1946, became an instant favorite and has been brewing its magically sweet concoctions by the gallon ever since.

The tea’s recipe has remained the same since the first time Beatrice whipped it up herself with just three ingredients: fresh-brewed tea, water, and sugar. No preservatives, nothing fancy, just some good Southern loving.

But, when Beatrice died at the age of 92 nearly four years ago, Milo Tea lovers worried their favorite afternoon drink would be lost forever. But, fear not, as her loyal granddaughter stepped right into the role to keep the family’s tea business alive and thriving.

"We miss her every day," Tricia Wallwork, Beatrice’s granddaughter who took over as chief executive officer of Milo's Tea Co. in 2012, told Al.com. Since taking over the reins, Tricia has added new flavors, including a refreshing peach variety that you can rest assured is just as delicious as the original.

"Peach is very refreshing," she added. "It takes a long time to develop something we think is worth putting the Milo's name on. We were looking for the perfect peach flavor. We're not going to put it out if it's not the best it can be."

WATCH: How To Make Classic Southern Sweet Tea

Beyond keeping her grandparent’s legacy alive, Tricia also knows it’s key she acts a good role model for other female entrepreneurs, just like her grandmother did. She even had the company certified as a Woman-Owned Business by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council.

"It's the pre-eminent organization for women-owned businesses," Tricia said. "Consumers are more likely to trust a product if it's made by a woman. We're mothers, we're often the ones making dinner."

Despite the fact that her father, Ronnie Carlton, is also a part owner, Tricia made it clear she’s the one calling all the shots in the tea-making business. "We outrank Dad," she explained of herself, her sister, Leslie Aven, and her stepmother, Sheila Carlton.

So the next time you pour a glass of Milos, have a toast to Tricia, Beatrice, and all the women who’ve supported your sweet dreams every step of the way too.