Mountain Rose Herbs has its beginnings from the noted herbalist Rosemary Gladstar as a source for materials to her students
Mountain Rose Herbs has roots which reach back to 1987 when Rosemary Gladstar (respected, loving and published herbalist and educator) created a business for the purpose of providing her herb students with necessary supplies. She was teaching classes at the California School of Herbal Studies (which she also started) and when she moved to Vermont she passed on the herbal torch and divided up her entrepreneurial ventures. Her business was sold off and separated into 2 separate ventures. One was a retail herb shop and the other was a mail order herb company. The retail herb shop (not affiliated with Mountain Rose Herbs) is still in operation to this day and the mail order company was purchased by two of Rosemary’s students thus beginning the groundwork for Mountain Rose Herbs.
Mountain Rose Herbs is sold to a new owner and is still home based. Most sales are through a small mail order catalog of herbal delights.
In 1990 Julie Bailey began assisting her friend Rose Madrone, the owner of Mountain Rose Herbs, Julie was active in the local Southern Humboldt community; teaching classes and leading plant walks. By early 1991 she had purchased the small business from Rose and began to develop the foundation for what Mountain Rose Herbs was to become. Julie Bailey was committed to creating an ethical business with friendly service, and quality herbs so that people could make their own herbal medicines and body care. Her passion and commitment came from her love of the healing plants, and her dedication and enduring respect for the beauty, balance and diversity of the natural world. These principles continue to guide Mountain Rose to this day. Over the next eight years Mountain Rose Herbs introduced a larger variety of organic herbs, increased the selection of teas, essential oils and bulk ingredients which were sold to herbalists, students and stores. Growing steadily through recommendations by teachers and happy customers further galvanized the good reputation of Mountain Rose. In 1995 with the increasing popularity of herbs and the irresponsible harvesting of wild plants, Mountain Rose Herbs adopted rigorous guidelines for wild harvesters to further protect threatened stands of wild plants.
The market is changing rapidly and Mountain Rose faces challenges of growth and change. An ambitious, ethical and idealistic manager begins the groundwork for an online presence as well as numerous sustainability campaigns.
In the late 90’s Mountain Rose Herbs moves out of the Southern Humboldt community to a small rural mountain community near North San Juan. While still home based the business quickly takes over all of the rooms in the house, several outbuildings and a large garage. Faced with changing legislation in the herbal industry, increased media coverage of herbal medicine, and the need to “step up” from the home business model Julie realizes she needs help to manage Mountain Rose Herbs. She promotes Shawn Donnille to management which was the precursor to a revolutionary change. He immediately proposes advancements in many of our services, which include offering a greater variety of products, the strengthening of our sustainability pledge, the introduction of a “strictly organic” emphasis on all of the products we offer, and most significantly the creation of a full scale website. Shawn’s marketing know-how, his belief in fostering long lasting relationships with farmers and vendors and his incredible passion for hard work provided a unique opportunity for Mountain Rose Herbs to adjust to the radical changes in the market, while staying staunchly committed to the original principals and ethics which have always been our foundation. All of this was enormously successful and we quickly outgrew our location. This forced us to look for another property, but where?
Mountain Rose Herbs moves to Oregon. This also marks a transformative period where Mountain Rose Herbs dramatically increased in both size and distribution giving the company enough clout to push its “weight” in support of strong organic standards and the promotion of sustainable agriculture to thousands of people across the globe.
How do we support the needs of a small and growing herbal products business and stay conducive to the mission and motive of Mountain Rose Herbs? Julie and Shawn become partners in the business and chose Oregon, which is where most of our farm operations, wild harvesters and processors were located so without hesitation we moved to a rural property just south of Eugene in the Autumn of 2001. The new “facility” was actually a back yard work shop, and a house which we honestly felt would sustain us for a lifetime. Of course it only lasted about 14 months thus forcing us to re-locate up the road to a facility in Pleasant Hill.
This also marked a time when we proudly became a certified organic processor and began offering more certified organic items, tea blending and processing services, and a full time laboratory and quality control department further guaranteeing the absolute perfection of all materials offered. Many of our talented and hard-working staff who started as order fillers and customer service representatives stepped up to management positions and we are able to offer livelihoods and jobs to more than 40 people.
We took full advantage of this new found success by financially and logistically supporting numerous herbal conferences, non-profit groups, social and environmental campaigns and we lead the industry in sustainable business practices which is publically available here http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/about/guiding.html
Mountain Rose Herbs doubles the size of its existing facilities to better accommodate the equipment used for processing, blending, sifting, and cleaning. This also marks a period when we joyfully attend the major U.S. trade shows and our products are proudly distributed to natural food stores, co-ops, restaurants and tea houses throughout the country.
At this time Mountain Rose Herbs realizes that we need to control every aspect of quality and processing and constructs an additional warehouse which enables us to bring in equipment for milling, processing, blending and cleaning.
With everything in place to guarantee an unparalleled product and service, Mountain Rose Herbs began exhibiting at the major trade shows in the U.S. and successfully established a distribution network to thousands of natural food stores, co-op’s, restaurants, cafes, and tea houses across the country. You can now find Mountain Rose Herbs products in every state and virtually every city offered upon the same ethical foundation which has guided us since 1987. From here we shall see what new adventure to share!
With continued growth, Mountain Rose Herbs realizes that we must establish a savvy group of managers who can deliver the same caliber of service that our customers have always expected, while incorporating the company's new motto of "People and Planet Before Profit." This also marks a period when social networking takes hold and Mountain Rose Herbs quickly nurtures an online community which is one of the largest in the natural products industry.
The continued growth of Mountain Rose Herbs means that our modality of conducting business would never be the same and the only way to successfully continue our long standing promise that our customers have expected since 1987 would be to promote a strong and progressive management team from within. This new management team includes Jennifer Gerrity, Kim Christensen, Irene Wolansky, Kris Mitchell and Carol Reed. All major decisions for the company are made by these key individuals (along with the owners) thus creating a new and vivacious Mountain Rose Herbs which includes new missions, new motives, and new promises. Our services are strengthened, our quality is enhanced and we boldly declare throughout the business community our new maxim "People and Planet Before Profit." This also marks the time when social networking became a necessary tool for individuals and business alike, and Mountain Rose Herbs quickly captured this new medium and as a result we became one of the largest and most followed companies within the natural products industry. Our recipe for success? Openness, friendliness, usefulness, and good conversation.