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Founder's Story

After spending many years apart traveling the world and pursuing interests in art, brother and sister Ahmed and Reem Rahim met up during a family vacation to the Grand Canyon and discussed starting a tea business. Ahmed had been living abroad and had owned and operated teahouses in Europe while Reem had been studying art in Northern California. They wanted to create an entity that would encompass both of their passions. In 1999, after observing that competing brands in the U.S. tea market differed little from one another in quality, consistency, and selection, Numi was created in a tiny 750 sq/ft apt in Oakland, CA. Inspired by art and exotic teas, Reem and Ahmed created a company whose hallmark is super-premium, organic and Fair Trade Certified teas and herbal teasans made with 100% real ingredients.

The Alchemist

Ahmed Rahim is the Co-Founder, CEO and Chief Alchemist behind Numi Organic Tea, the largest premium, organic, Fair Trade Certified tea company in North America. Ahmed is responsible for all of the unique Numi blends and products that the company launches every year.

Before starting Numi in 1999 in Oakland, California with his sister, Reem, Ahmed studied Theater & Psychology in New York City. He then spent a decade living, working and traveling throughout Europe as a professional filmmaker and photographer.  Ahmed’s focus was fashion photography and abstract art through the visual mystery of light and nature. He also made short films and documentaries.

At Numi, Ahmed travels to remote regions of the world seeking unique herbs and teas unknown in the United States.  He travels to China, India, Africa, South America and other herb and tea-growing countries building partnerships with farmers and learning about their cultures and communities. Numi has developed meaningful partnerships based on mutual gratitude, and has proudly been involved in sponsoring schools, hospitals, community centers, road construction and other needs to improve living standards in farming communities.

Since 2009, Ahmed and his sister Reem have been evolving their vision for Numi through the Numi Foundation, with initiatives that focus on acknowledging and addressing the challenges within inner city Oakland; from education to health and nutrition. With the support of committed local Bay Area community members, Ahmed and Reem are focused on a key initiative called ACTION (A Creative Transformation In Our Community).  ACTION leverages the work of thousands of organizations around the bay area to lift up Oakland through O’Days: volunteer project days that encourage action with positive and nurturing themes.

Ahmed sits on various boards and works with many non-profit organizations to focus on infusing art and nature into inner city communities, and mentors for-profit companies on enhancing their growth and sustainability goals. In 2011, Ahmed helped launch the nation’s first Waldorf-inspired multi-lingual, multi-cultural K-4 charter school: Community School for Creative Education. The Numi Foundation developed curriculums for the school of 110 students, infusing art and nature with experiential learning.

Ahmed’s core goal is to be of service to those focused on caring for their community and creating positive change for our environment.

The Artist

Numi’s Creative Director and co-founder Reem Rahim oversees Numi’s brand identity, including all packaging design and marketing elements. Reem has influenced Numi’s commitment to sustainability and speaks regularly on the topic of sustainable packaging. An artist by trade, Reem’s original artwork has been a major inspiration for Numi’s brand vision. Reem also shares with her brother a passion for all aspects of tea, including its history and cultivation, and routinely leads tea tastings and pairings.

After earning her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, Reem shifted disciplines and went on to pursue a Diploma d’Arte in Drawing and Painting from Lorenzo di Medici Art Institute in Florence, Italy and then a M.F.A. from John F. Kennedy University in the department of Arts & Consciousness Studies. Reem continues to create art in her studio in Oakland, California and is fluent in English, Italian, Spanish, and Arabic.