Hey tea tribe! Happy New Year, we haven’t talked to you guys since last year! Are you tired of hearing that yet? Anyway, here’s to 2021, the bar is so low that it can’t miss.
We told you it wouldn’t be a whole month between our posts again lol. We wanted to use this post to talk about a few things we’ve done that are very exciting!
D: One of the really exciting things that we had the opportunity to do a partnership with Main Event Catering back in early November! Justevia, in addition to Brown’s Farm, worked with the Main Event to create a delicious menu for the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Community Meal. Justevia did a play on traditional southern tea, offering a sweetened and unsweetened version of our Hibiscus kiss, affectionately known as our OG Blend. Brown’s Farm provided an abundance of herbs, persimmons (with which they made the most amazing hors d'oeuvres), and pears that formed a beautiful menu that Halima and I still talk about VERY often. We had the opportunity to help out in the kitchen the day of the event with the amazing Chef Bryan Sapp and taste test like kids on Christmas. Halima stayed to help deliver meal boxes to cars and talk to customers a bit about Justevia and Brown’s Farm.
H: I was glad I stayed, because one of the containers we put the unsweet tea in started leaking! One of the things we are learning from running this small business is to just spend the money and invest in the materials we use to supply our products. Also while Dria was still there, and we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first few customers before she left for a class, which led to us receiving the grant from the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. We got the news that Joe Biden had won the election! It was really an amazing day for Justevia!
D: Yessss to the election results! You could feel the tension of the entire country just moments before we heard the news. We weren’t even checking (because I told Halima we were gonna just wait and enjoy the day without being crazy over the election like we had been for the entire week) and overheard the staff talking about the results. We also had the opportunity to meet Chef John Currence, who won a James Beard award in 2009. I wish you guys could’ve seen how excited I was once I got in the car. I shed a tear once I got home, no joke. Almost ashamed, but I love a good chef. He’s the owner of Main Event Catering, City Grocery, Big Bad Breakfast, Boure, and the Snackbar. If you’ve ever had a nice dinner in Oxford, you’ve more than likely have gone to one of these. HUGE deal lol.
H: Ohh and it's a funny story, cause as Dria is typing about meeting John Currence. I had no idea who he was, but I could feel Dria’s energy and excitement as we walked into the building and we met a man sitting down talking to one of the staff members. When we got into the car she’s not joking y’all, she was so excited. She was waving her hands and smiling so big! I swear, we are in the right profession because nothing excites her as much as food, herbs and Justevia. I got to meet a lot of customers who had read our bio, and who also knew us as reps of Browns Farm. I got to speak with them and tell them I was one of a duo and that I was very excited. This amazing opportunity actually got to be, because Dria during the pitch for the event mentioned our product. I’m always the one that wants to die everytime she mentions it, because as you all remember, we are not supposed to release our products until next year. But, she’s a bold woman and she just puts us out there and we do the work and provide, we hope above and beyond and it has been very well received.
D: So, we love Main Event (and Chef John) and can’t wait for our potential future endeavors with them! And speaking of my boldness, I think I have rubbed off on Halima because she had a spark of boldness during the market one day. I arrive one day after school and she’s so excited telling me, “Dria, we have to make tea.” Mind you, we agreed after the catering event that we were actually going to take a break until next year. OXCM was handing out flyers about their annual Holly Jolly Market in December to get a feel for vendors. Halima and Betsy threw around ideas about Justevia creating cute holiday gift bags and potential partnerships. We partnered with Mardis Honey to create the CUTEST gift bags with a loose leaf bag of tea, a honey bear, and a tea infuser. We literally sold out. And by sold out, I mean oversold and scrambled so we could deliver to our lovely customers lol. I’m telling you guys, this small business ownership will have you running around like crazy but with a grin. And doing this with a partner who’s a best friend aka your sister (because people ask us this all the time) is the biggest relief. Halima really does compliment my spontaneous behavior with her calmness. And I think (and hope) that I do the same for her.
H: So we have to tell you guys what we have been up to this past weekend. With clearing the greenhouse and building drying shelves. And maybe, just maybe we will have pictures for you all to see. We definitely can’t wait for the before and after pictures of when we are done with the greenhouse and have planted for the year 2021. We definitely have a very exciting life filled with excitement and we would not have it any other way. Hope you guys get a chance to pop in and read this. We will have more to talk about soon and will introduce you all to some of the people that make up our community. Friends and family that help keep our ship sailing.