Earlier this month at Southern Exposure, Rock Garden South introduced its brand-new tea mixes. “At the show, we introduced the new product to the public,” said Jonathan Roussel with Rock Garden, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coosemans Worldwide. “The idea for this product originated just a few months ago when Cami Onolfo came to us,” he added. She was a ballerina with a major troupe and had had a lifelong interest in herbal remedies. She spent many years studying herbs and their uses and has given presentations around the world on their benefits. “Onolfo started making teas at home and proposed her idea about tea mixes to us. We jumped right on it and developed a partnership to bring the teas to market.,” shared Roussel.
Marrying together spices and fresh herbs
“The product line makes sense for us as it fits exactly what we do.” Rock Garden provides the fresh herbs that are part of the package. Other companies supply the dry spices that are included, e.g. peppercorn and cloves. “Basically, she brings her knowledge of the dried items, we bring in the herbs and it kind of all marries together,” explained Roussel. The tea mixes are marketed by Coosemans and sold under the Miracle Tea brand, which is owned by Onolfo.
Roussel believes the product is going to do really well. “It will catch people’s attention because it represents a different approach in the category for the US market. Fresh, natural herbal teas are quite commonplace in South and Central America but we are underserved in this area domestically. More and more people are looking for natural products. The herb category as a whole has shown a steady increase for the past ten years, largely due to the impact of cooking shows. In every show, chefs work with herbs and a lot of people want to replicate this trend at home,” shared Roussel.
Four different mixes
Right now, there are four different types of tea mixes: Detox, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-cough and Digestion. Each package contains a different mixture of fresh herbs and spices. The detox tea for instance contains basil, cilantro, dandelion, ginger root, mint, oregano, parsley and rosemary. The digestion tea on the other hand has dandelion, dill, fennel, ginger, lemongrass and mint in the package. “We expect to expand the product line in the near future,” said Rock Garden’s Jeff Bruff. “The tea category has been underserved as it has never seen a fresh approach. Therefore, I expect this product to do very well.” The recommended retail price is $2.49.
Coosemans grows its own herbs on farms in Arizona, Florida and California. In addition, the company has relationships with growers in Virginia as well as outside the US in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Colombia. All herbs are organically grown, but because not all ingredients are certified organic, the product is sold as conventional. The direction however is to get the mixes certified organic.