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Oliver's Team


Darren Hartford, Owner

Favorite Product:  Colonial Bohea Tea

Darren is the newest member of the Oliver Pluff family. He was born and raised in Smithfield, Maine. Darren spent over 28 years in the Air Force where he had the opportunity to travel the world and experience many different tea and coffee cultures. He and his wife and two children recently returned to Charleston and enjoy all that the South Carolina lowcountry has to offer. 




Carol Rice, Sales Manager

Favorite Product:  Cacao Shell Tea

Carol is a native of Charleston and currently lives on the Isle of Palms. She is the self-proclaimed "Tea Lady" and has been involved in the tea trade for the past 8 years. Carol is currently serving on the Isle of Palms City Council and takes huge pride in her community. Carol enjoys live music, camping with her family and taking her dear dog Hudson to the bark park. Carol loves to talk tea and looks forward to creating lasting relationships with new tea friends.



Jen Thayer, Online Retail Fulfillment Manager

Favorite Product: Hibiscus Mint

Jen has been with OP&Co. for over 5 years and has resided in Charleston for 13 years.  Originally from The Mountain State, she gravitated to The Holy City for its historical significance and laid back vibe.  When Jen is not taking care of online retail orders or moonlighting as a bartender at a local taco joint, she enjoys running, playing with her two cats and collecting natural curiosities.  Her favorite tea is Hibiscus Mint.  She sometimes adds a dash of loose peppermint to give an extra burst of healthy flavor.



Lydia McKee, Production Manager

Favorite Product:  Masala Chai

Originally from Columbus Georgia, Lydia and her husband have lived in Charleston for over 15 years.  What once was to be a temporary move quickly turned into happily settling down in the Lowcountry. Lydia loves living near the water and going boating with friends and family.  When she's not on the water or at the beach, Lydia is spending time cheering on her Auburn Tiger football team or watching golf.  Lydia's Oliver Pluff & Company favorite tea is Chai with just a little sugar.



Jim Faust, Warehouse Manager

Favorite Product:  Congou Loose Tea

Jim is a native Charlestonian who is proud to call Charleston home.  He is an avid bowler and belongs to a bowling club that meets every week.  He is also musically inclined and collects musical instruments!  Jim plays mostly strings, however he is able to play almost anything he attempts.  His favorite instruments include guitar, ukulele, drums and piano. Jim also spends time drawing cartoon figures and making crossword puzzles for friends to solve.



Mary Hanckel, Bookkeeper

Favorite Product:  Southern Style Iced Tea

Mary is native to Charleston and can't imagine living anywhere else.  Mary has always enjoyed living on the coast and has taken advantage of the seas by spending many years boating!  She has two sons, one daughter, and a granddaughter who she enjoys spending time with and who light up her life.  Mary likes her Southern Style Iced Tea sweet- "the way it was meant to be."



Brett Nash, Teamaker

Favorite Product:  Colonial Blend Coffee

Brett blends and packages teas by hand for our custom-packaging clients.  Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, he has been enjoying his home in Charleston for 9 years. On top of drinking his weight in coffee, Brett loves playing, writing, and listenting to music, especially jazz. He plays drums, bass guitar, and keyboards - sometimes in a band with Oliver Pluff warehouse manager, Jim Faust.   



Ashley Isom, Teamaker

Favorite Product: Lapsang Souchong

Ashley was born and raised in the Charleston Area; she went to The Culinary Institute of Charleston to be a Pastry Chef. She is now studying English with a minor in Psychology to be a fiction and non-fiction writer. Ashley can be found with her nose in a book or doing  yoga when not at work. 



Rachel Carey, Teamaker

Favorite Product: Red Chai Tea

Rachel typically enjoys coffee after lunch and tea before bed, and loves learning about the benefits of other herbal teas and plants. A native to Maryland, she loves Charleston for its healthy, full-of-life waterways. She’s always down to go on a nature walk, thrift shop or simply enjoy being at home with her husband.  




Michelle Strager, Sales Representative – New England, 781-581-9394

Favorite Product:  Colonial Blend Coffee

Michelle is a coffee lover and enjoys traveling historic New England for her job. A native of Massachusetts, she spends her free time knee deep in some sort of home improvement initiative, painting, or spending time with friends and family. Michelle has also served as an adjunct professor at Marion Court College for the past 5 years for a course on “Principles of Buying”.  She lives in Swampscott, Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters.