Caroline is the founder, creator and CEO of Teeccino® renowned for its unique roasted herbal coffees and teas that are unlike any other herbal beverages on the market. With over 40 years of experience as an herbal product innovator, Caroline’s career has encompassed all aspects of working with herbs including developing international sources, pioneering wild harvests, developing organic certification for herbal crops, educating people about herbs and launching products that bring the health benefits of herbs to people all over the world.
“Herbs have taken me all over the world, introducing me to other cultures, luring me into tropical forests, wilderness areas and remote villages. Herbs have always been my vehicle for interesting encounters with the world at large, both human and plant!”
Caroline MacDougall has designed numerous award‑winning herbal beverages for top tea and natural products companies including The Republic of Tea, Yogi Tea Company, Uncle Lee’s Tea, and Organic India.
In the early 1970’s, Caroline began her career studying, growing, importing, blending and selling herbs. Caroline developed worldwide suppliers and importing herbs for Celestial Seasonings when she was 21 years old. She traveled extensively throughout Europe, North Africa, Central and South America to find herbal suppliers.
During her travels In Europe, Caroline furthered her education in herbal lore by apprenticing with a world-renowned herbalist, Juliette de Bairacli Levy, who wrote a number of books about her experiences living with nomadic people and studying their herbal traditions. She first found Juliette on the Balearic island of Formentera with her herd of wild goats and her afghan hounds. They spent many hours preparing herbal remedies, making goats cheese with herbs, and swimming daily in the Mediterranean, a regime Juliette swore kept her healthy into her ‘90’s. Caroline spent time with Juliette on Greek islands also as she loved to move to new locals and learn from the local people.
In 1976 during her travels for Celestial, Caroline visited the Findhorn Foundation in the north of Scotland. Findhorn had become renowned for its gardens which grew extraordinarily large vegetables on poor sandy soil near the ocean. Its philosophy of cooperation with the nature kingdoms sounded fascinating to Caroline and she was drawn to working in the Findhorn herb garden where she could experience growing living herbs after importing tons of dried ones. She moved to the Findhorn community in the dead of winter which was quite a transition after being an international executive.
While living in the UK, Caroline developed a line of herbal cigarettes to help people quit smoking and a line of homeopathic products. Returning to the United States in 1980, she brought back many ideas and began creating herbal teas and herbal supplements for other N. American companies to bring to market.
In the mid 1980’s, Caroline was the cofounder of a technology company, Interlink Electronics, that marketed a new technology called a force-sensing resistor. Caroline raised over $10M for Interlink and she was a board member when Interlink went public in 1993, serving on the board until 2001. As a serial entrepreneur, Caroline has been involved in the start-up of a number of companies, but Interlink was the only one outside of the natural products industry.
Caroline’s inspiration for creating her most innovative product line, Teeccino®, came to her in a dream in the mid 1990s when she was deeply involved in rainforest preservation work in Central America. While developing a line of rainforest teas for The Republic of Tea, where Caroline has been their Minister of Herbs since 1992, she awoke after hearing herself in the dream telling the CEO of The Republic of Tea, “The next product I’m going to create is a caffeine-free cappuccino and the name of the product is Teeccino.”
Wondering if she could get herbs to brew in an espresso machine, Caroline began roasting and grinding herbs in her kitchen to create the first Teeccino blends to replicate the taste of coffee and brew just like coffee.
Following in the footsteps of her great grandmother, Alice Foote MacDougall, a single mother entrepreneur who began a coffee roasting business which grew into gourmet coffee restaurants in the early 1900’s, Caroline founded Teeccino Caffé, Inc. in 1994 and launched the first Teeccino® flavors into the natural and specialty food markets in 1995. Alice’s book, Autobiography of a Business Woman, served as further inspiration for Caroline, who was named, Caroline Foote MacDougall, after her great grandmother. Learn more about Alice MacDougall
Teeccino is a family-owned business founded in Santa Barbara, California where Caroline and her family live. Galen MacDougall, Caroline’s youngest son, has worked with the company since 2010 and now is Teeccino’s Vice President of Sales. Caroline’s husband, Jerry Isenberg, is her business partner and Teeccino’s CFO. She is an avid yoga practitioner and has been a vegetarian devoted to healthy living for over 45 years. She loves to cook and entertain, and she is driven by her passion is to help others achieve optimal health!
“Imagination is a valuable asset in business, and she has a sister, understanding, who also serves.”