Herb Heaven Devon is an independent artisanal healthy living herb farm in South Devon, located 5 miles north of Salcombe near Bigbury. Founded in 2018 on previously unused agricultural land, from this tranquil rural valley in the heart of the South Hams countryside, founders Lynda and David spend their time living life in the slow lane, working with the land to grow the different herbs and plants that flourish in these surroundings.
Preferring traditional methods, no dig, no chemicals and very little machinery, they sow, grow and harvest at nature’s own pace to create delightful teas, and flavoursome culinary herbs. We chat with Lynda to find out more about her passion for herbal remedies, sustainability, and slow living.
Please introduce yourselves! How did you come to work together, and how did your interest in low-impact, sustainable farming come about?
When David and I met in the summer of 2017 we both had busy lives and experiences in the corporate world. David in organic food production and logistics, and myself in health, beauty and marketing. We had a shared dream to create a living and a business based on our love of nature, our care for the environment, and our own well-being.
Of all the things to grow, why specifically did you choose herbs?
I had already studied herbal medicine in Brighton and had an interest in herbs and how they can help improve health. I had first-hand experience with this, as using herbs really helped support me through the menopause.
We bought a field of 2 acres in South Devon and decided to grow herbs and sell them as plants to cafes and restaurants. Then in our first year, Covid hit. The idea of creating a range of herbal tea was something we had already discussed, but we then had to fast-track this and learn to dry, store, and blend our herbs, and literally create a whole new business. Alongside this, we grew more types of herbs, and continue to learn and do most of the production in our Shepherd's Hut.
How do you develop your tea blends?
Creating a blend is fairly straightforward, starting with the single herbs and trying out different blends. The benefits, the taste and the look are all important factors.
Of the products you sell, do you have a favourite?
The tea I am most proud of is our bestseller, the She Will Rise tea, a blend of herbs and flowers that may help women get through the month. It contains raspberry leaf, sage, yarrow, feverfew, hibiscus, chamomile, rose hip, and rose petals. It tastes very good, looks good, and the feedback we receive is very encouraging.
Was there anything you learned through your experience of setting up Herb Heaven Devon that surprised you?
I get to meet a lot of our customers face-to-face at events and workshops and it's there that we get instant feedback, I always offer tasters at events and it's very informative and helps shape and create future teas. The 'Time for Sleep' tea came about from those conversations, a mellow blend of chamomile, linden flower and dried apple. We decided to make this without lavender, which a lot of customers don't like.
One of the learnings was in the naming of teas, our sage tea wasn't popular, but I knew it was a good blend. So, I changed the name to Peace of Mind, and it's now our second best-selling product. It contains lemon balm, which is a herb used for anxiety, or for when we are feeling overwhelmed.
Describe your customers to us. What kind of people buy your products, and who do you hope to reach with Herb Heaven Devon?
Our customers are varied, both men and women, young and older, but all have an interest in a more natural, caffeine-free herbal drink.
When did you decide to sell your products wholesale, and how has selling wholesale with CREOATE helped grow your business?
Offering wholesale came to us as we became known locally and nationally online, and it seemed a sensible way to develop. We're keen to balance this by providing a good local presence, and by meeting customers face-to-face at events and workshops.
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