When you bring our product home and open it for the first time, you’ll notice it’s a little different than some other herbs that you may have purchased. Everything that we grow, pack, and ship is living. Yes, with the roots attached!
To be totally honest, we kind of nerd out on this kind of stuff. There are a lot of really awesome reasons behind why we do what we do. We had to take a minute to explain why we think that is just so darn cool. We promise, it’s worth the read.
First of all, why living? It’s the biggest question we get asked and the bottom line is, there is just nothing else quite like it. Now you may be wondering; what on earth makes purchasing a living herb so much different than purchasing a cut herb? Well for starters, cut herbs just don’t last. It’s no secret, you have a window of a couple of days to make sure you use all of the cut herbs in that package before they start to go south. To our co-founder and CFO, Suzette Overgaag, that just didn’t seem like the right solution. She dreamed about bringing a fresher, longer lasting product to the market that would inspire families to cook fresh, tasty meals together. Most of all, she dreamed about making a product that could be used completely, not wasted. A product that could be right in your kitchen windowsill or fridge door, easy to access and inspire. Suzette loves to say that with our product you can create a garden at your fingertips, all year long! With this grand idea in mind, Suzette’s husband and co-founder & CEO, set out to make it a reality. Coming from a Dutch family with generations of greenhouse growing experience Leo and Suzette created the first and only living herb to be sold in the wet wrack. (So cool, right?!)
Now, when we started this journey, we didn’t know that selling a living product in this way would have so many benefits, but there are! One of our all-time favorite part about cooking with living herbs rather than cut is the amazing prep experience. Cut herbs are usually older, very mature and established plants. Picture a large rosemary or mint bush. When you purchase cut herbs, you are getting small cuttings from a large plant. BUT when you are purchasing North Shore Living Herbs you are getting an herb that we planted from seed, grown in our greenhouses (for a handful of weeks) and then packed and headed straight for your kitchen, with a quick pit stop at the grocery store, of course. That means when you are purchasing our product, you are purchasing a very young, tender plant. Our product is packed with vibrant flavor, but best of all, the leaves aren’t leathery, and the stems aren’t woody. In fact, our thyme and rosemary are so young and tender you don’t have to bother with de-stemming (and if you cook a lot you know how much of a pain that can be). Our basil leaves are soft, and dare we say, melt in your mouth. The texture is something that can be celebrated, not something that has to be hidden.
Now, creating a product like ours comes with its challenges, but we have been perfecting our growing process, experimenting with packaging, and developing our craft for over 30 years. Leo and Suzette Overgaag founded North Shore in 1987, with one simple goal in mind. They wanted to start a company, with skills they had, to start their own life, make their own way, and start and support their family. Today the company is still owned and operated by Leo and Suzette with all those same goals forefront in their mind. The team at North Shore brings excellent skills to the table and not only does the company run more like a family, but it is proud to support over 100 families in our Southern California area. To learn more about the company and where Leo and Suzette started, head on over to the Our Story page!
Oh, and just in case we forgot to mention it… Our product is grown using some pretty awesome sustainable practices. You can learn more about that in the video below!