Communicafe International - The Tea Spot’s Maria Uspenski to Keynote the National Gift Basket Convention

By Editor in Chief for Communicafe International  


BOULDER, Colo. U.S. – Maria Uspenski, founder and CEO of The Tea Spot, will be the keynote presenter at the National Gift Basket Convention, which takes place Aug. 8-12 in Phoenix, Ariz., during the 10th anniversary of the event. Uspenski’s presentation will be held on the evening of Aug. 11, at 7 p.m., during a special dinner and awards program.

The National Gift Basket Convention is the premier business-building conference and expo for the gift basket business community. The Tea Spot works to advance healthier living through the everyday enjoyment of whole leaf tea.

Uspenski’s keynote, “Think Outside the Basket: Inspiration for the Gift Basket Community,” will offer insights for gift basket professionals — as well as companies that support gift basket businesses — on succeeding and taking their business to the next level. Uspenski will also share her own personal story of success and innovation and offer valuable lessons to thrive in the marketplace.

Debbie Quintana, founder of the Gift Basket Association and the National Gift Basket Convention, said, “We’re thrilled to have Maria Uspenski of The Tea Spot be this year’s keynote as we celebrate our 10th anniversary of the National Gift Basket Convention. Maria’s passion, entrepreneurialism, and philanthropic spirit is contagious, and we know that her story and business lessons will be well-received by our attendees.” 

As a cancer survivor, Uspenski was drawn to the health benefits of loose-leaf tea during her recovery, which led her to launch The Tea Spot in 2004 in Colorado. Today, her company’s overall message is simple and powerful — tea in its freshest form is sustainable and renders exceptional flavor and unmatched health benefits. The Tea Spot — which supplies tea and teaware to gift basket businesses and companies in numerous other vertical markets — is also a philanthropic company that donates 10 percent of all sales in-kind to cancer and community wellness. Uspenski, as an MIT mechanical engineer by trade, is the innovative force listed on three U.S. patents for Steepware inventions, which promote the ease of tea preparation. She is also the author of Cancer Hates Tea and was recognized as the “Top Tea Health Advocate” at the 2017 World Tea Expo.

“The National Gift Basket Convention is the premier event for this industry, and I’m honored to be the 2019 keynote,” said Uspenski. “Debbie Quintana has cultivated a top-notch educational program and expo, and The Tea Spot is looking forward to participating, meeting everyone in the community, and sharing how tea is a perfect fit for premium gift baskets.”

In addition to an exhibit hall, The National Gift Basket Convention will feature numerous educational sessions to help professionals and companies succeed in the gift basket business. Some of the classes and topics include: Creating a Plan for a Business Gifting Program; Unique Designing; Segmentation, Personalization and Automation; Effective Shipping Practices; Setting Up Your Business Properly; The Client Experience; The Newest Tools for Selling; Holiday Prep; Storefronts, Pop-Ups & Merchandising; and Sourcing & Pricing Your Gifts, among many other topics. In addition, the event offers classes related to three different certification programs through The Gift Basket Association. 

To register for The National Gift Basket Convention or to learn more, visit To learn more about The Tea Spot, visit

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