Jon Veniard and his wife, Amber, own and operate Cultivate Tea and Spice Co. Their passion and appreciation for nature and the powerful benefits of natural ingredients, are what fuels the drive of the rapidly growing local company. A company that started from a humble beginning has now expanded to partner with other businesses. “I’ve always loved nature and how we interact with it,” says Jon, “As soon as I had a little bit of land, even a patio, I started growing my own plants and herbs. I just became obsessed with it.”
Jon and his wife continued to grow small crops and herbs at home, filling every available space in their yard and soon they had an abundance of organic goods, much more than their small family could readily use. “What started as a hobby, making personal teas and spice blends, got to a point where we had more than we needed,” Jon shares, “so we gave fresh herbs and spices to neighbors, family, and friends.” Those people with whom he shared his hand-crafted teas and herbs encouraged Jon to branch out and bring the delectable flavors to more people.
Jon began his venture small by selling a few herbal teas and spice blends at local farmers markets. As his business grew, he decided to broaden his knowledge of locally grown herbs and spices and others from various parts of the world. This newfound scholarship led to exotic recipes that included smoked paprika, lemongrass, hibiscus, and Nigiri Blue. The delicious tastes and bold flavors served to further expand Cultivate’s reputation for quality organic goods. Soon partnerships with local businesses were developed.
As Cultivate Tea and Spice Co. continues to grow, Jon Veniard pushes himself to increase his inventory with more natural products and delicious teas. Teas like Coco-Mango Black with its distinct tropical blend of black Ceylon tea leaves, marigold petals, sweet mangos, and coconut, exude a floral aroma. Spice blends like Datil Citrus Salt combines the heat of locally-grown Datil peppers with sea salt, orange and lemon peels, minced onion, herbs, and garlic deliver a seasoning with a highly satisfying punch. The amazing flavors alone are enough to garner praise for Jon’s recipes. However, his respect for the balance between man and nature and the desire to introduce diverse organic foods to others makes his company special.
“All of this comes from a love of plants, their use, and how beneficial they are to us,” says Jon, “As a society, we got separated from our food and the way it is harvested and cultivated. I try to create good alternatives to the overly-processed and preservative-filled foods. All of our products are hand-blended using nothing but quality organic ingredients.”
Jon also explains that the use of pure organic herbs and plants in his products brings out the full benefits of the natural healing properties of these ingredients. Common ailments may be eased or remedied by the compounds found in specific plants and herbs. Jon is very knowledgeable about the benefits of using natural products, and he shares this knowledge with his customers at Cultivate Tea and Spice Co.
Visit Cultivate online at www.cultivateteaandspice.com. Photography by Ed Taylor.