Longview wins Tea Town USA title

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It is official. An East Texas city has snatched the title of "Tea Town USA." The McAllisters in Longview won the nation-wide show down by more than 12,000 votes.

The victory comes after a TV station in the second place city, Charlotte, North Carolina, poked fun at Longview. East Texans said the taunting only fueled their fire to win.

It is all in the recipe. With eight cups of sugar in each batch, McAllister's sweet tea sticks to the sweet tooth.

"Unlike other restaurants, it tastes homemade," said one Longview resident.

"I wish I had their formula because it is fabulous," said Brenda, a customer.

The formula is the same nation-wide, but in a contest to claim the title of "Tea Town USA", Longview residents put up a fight.

"I voted everyday," said customer, Sarah Hendrix.

It became a David and Goliath battle. The one McAllisters in Longview up against the seven locations in Charlotte, NC and a TV station that was full of trash talk.

"That was our goal - to try to beat the big city," said Dennis Samford, with McAllisters Deli. "Especially after they talked bad about us."

"They poked too much fun and the true spoof is on them," said Johnny Zackary, with the Longview Fire Department.

"How's it feel to be second?" laughed Hendrix.

It was the pride of Longview that propelled residents to cast their votes.

"The pride of Longview and a chance to prove that to everybody was our motivation," said Samford.

"When you get ugly, people react, and we reacted in a positive way," said Brenda.

So what's next? Is Longview ready for another challenge?

"Definitely! Bring it on," said Courtney Krienke.

"Bring it on," said Hendrix.

"If they want to bring on a tea challenge again, we are there and if their fire department wants to challenge us, we would be willing to consider a challenge by their fire department over there,"  said Zackary.

In the end, it is the Longview residents - sweet tea lovers of all ages - that are having the last laugh.

The McAllisters in Longview was awarded $5,000. They will be donating it to the Neil McCoy Park in Spring Hill.

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