Manelle is a graduate of Columbia University, a former advertising and sales associate for top media companies including DoubleClick, an accomplished singer, and a fifth-generation fine tea merchant. The daughter of successful immigrants from Sri Lanka (her Mom) and the Dominican Republic (her Dad), Manelle traces her family lineage in the tea trade back to the 1870s when her great-great grandfather, Francis Van Reyk, emigrated to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to oversee one of the first major tea estates. In 2007, Manelle co-founded Capital Teas with her husband Peter.
As Chairman of the company, she guides the strategic direction to imbue her family's 5-generation family tradition of excellence in the tea trade. Her combined Sri Lankan family tradition and Hispanic heritage touch everything from product selection and packaging to music selection in the stores to community involvement and outreach. Manelle lives in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and their four children, and serves on the Boards of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and Historic Annapolis. She previously studied classical voice at the Julliard School of Music in New York City and she is fluentin four languages. Manelle’s favorite teas are Honey Oolong, Chai Masala, Yoga Tea, and Madame Butterfly Jasmine.
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