I studied Philosophy at Haverford College, where I never could have imagined starting this company as an answer to the common question: “what will you do with a Philosophy degree?” During school, I was heavily involved with environmental activism and worked for environmental conservation non-profits. After graduation, I studied the ecovillage, Permaculture, and Transition Town movements on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.
The Philosopher’s Stoneground started out of an urge to take control of my personal food supply and begin making more of my own food for health, financial, and ecological reasons. I also wanted to reconnect myself with the processes that we engaged in as a species for millennia before the industrial age.
In November 2012, I began making sprouted almonds using a recipe from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. I thought to myself, “man, this would make an incredible sprouted almond butter!” I threw some sprouted almonds with coconut oil, vanilla, and sea salt in my VitaMix blender and tried it.
The result was phenomenal! I shared it with my housemates in my former cooperative household, who fell in love with it as quickly and deeply as did I. I began perfecting my recipe and making more batches for myself, my friends, and my family over the course of several months.
In January 2013, I learned about the passage of the California Homemade Food Act, which legalized the sale of certain foods made in one’s home kitchen. Our household had a strong food culture and we were very interested in exploring a food enterprise. I entertained this as an idea, but not very seriously. I was busy trying to figure out what to do with my life. I was in a training program to become a Holistic Health Coach and thought I was on track for further education as a Naturopath.
Then, on April 17th, 2013, I received what I describe as a “Download from the Universe.” In this three-hour-plus vision, I saw clearly that it is my life’s work at this time to start a food product company to educate people about sprouted food and serve as a wedge for changing human consciousness around food production and consumption. I saw that the company was to raise money to buy land and establish Almondia, the world’s first Permaculture almond orchard, as well as create a network of such orchards to change the face of almond agriculture and regeneratively supply our company.
The following day, I started following the operating instructions I had received and have not stopped since. I launched my business on Earth Day on April 22nd through several local listservs. On May 1st, our house became the first certified Cottage Food Operation – Class B in Yolo County, CA.
By June 23rd, I attracted the help of a friend and moved into the back of Monticello Seasonal Cuisine, our favorite farm-to-table restaurant in town, as we had outgrown the confines of the home kitchen. We outgrew that space and moved to Berkeley in May 2014 to grow our business. We purchased Ostara Foods in August 2014, and recently moved to Santa Cruz to take our business to the next level on June 15th, 2015!
Since the download, we have experienced a chain of synchronicities that have supported our company coming into a thriving existence. We continue to receive more demand than we can meet and are doing our best to grow into the company that the world wants us to become. We have been feeling the truth of the beautiful William Hutchinson Murray quote:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
I hope that our products holistically nourish your mind, body, and spirit, and that our company story inspires you to manifest magic in your life and the world!