St. Louis Tea Company Converts Supply Chain Crisis into New Opportunity

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  • Published on March 25, 2022
  • Last Updated March 29, 2022
  • Phone Interview

Big Heart Tea shared a working packaging design (not final!) with EQ.

Big Heart Tea Co., the woman-owned company in St. Louis whose Chai was named the best by the New York Times, is launching a new organic tea next month. “Happy Tulsi” will be the latest addition to Big Heart Tea Co. Farmer’s Collection, a range of herbal teas sourced directly from small family farms around the world.

Since 2012, Big Heart Tea Co. has used tulsi, otherwise known as Holy Basil, as the primary herb base in its collection of herbal teas. Tulsi is sacred in India, which has a rich history of growing, cultivating and celebrating the herb.

In 2020, global supply of this tulsi ran short, forcing the company to re-think how and where its ingredients come from. The biggest challenge in sourcing herbs domestically at scale is not just finding a farm to partner with but also finding a farming partner that has expertise in drying and milling herbs for final consumption.

In early 2021, the team discovered Oshala Farm through social media and after a short conversation, Big Heart Tea Co. placed a contract for its first domestically grown herbal tea – Happy Tulsi. The certified organic, single-farm, domestically grown tulsi used is grown and late-summer harvested by Oshala Farm, a regenerative family farm in Jackson County, Oregon.

Tulsi is a naturally sweet, adaptogenic herb β€” “It’s a cute flowering bush from the mint family,” Lisa Govro, founder & CEO, told EQ. “We like to say it’s the best friend you never knew you had, because it’s a powerful yet gentle adaptogen overflowing with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.”

“In 2020, we had a hell of a time arranging freight for our most beloved and most widely used herb, tulsi,” Govro posted in an email newsletter. “So we said dang an international supply chain crisis, started looking for tulsi in our backyard, and we found it!”

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