April 16 marks two years since Elizabeth Bretko completed a successful Kickstarter campaign which turned her goal of opening a Tea Brewery & Farm Kitchen into a reality. With only 307 backers, Bretko raised $13,374 to manifest Uber Herbal, a production kitchen, tea bar and farm fresh food store in the heart of downtown Grants Pass.
Now that Bretko has her farm kitchen up and roaring, she’s made huge strides selling her teas to local cafes and restaurants. Currently her teas are available at popular Grants Pass eateries Ma Mosa’s and The Haul, with more in the works. The Liver Lover is the most popular so far, made by hand from peppermint, star anise, pau d Arco, ginger, dandelion, burdock and of course, love.
Bretko is currently working to sell wholesale loose tea to farm stores. Soon her Uber Herbal loose teas can be found at Diggin Livin’, Whistling Duck and Easy Valley Farm Stand in Rogue River.
Starting in May, Uber Herbal will have a booth at the Ashland Saturday Market, where market goers can see and smell all of her delicious herbal offerings, including Uber Herbal’s signature Heartsong Chai with Black Tea or Caffeine-Free Rooibos ground with bicycle-power from her production kitchen. The Chai is a blend of organic fair trade herbs.
With the agricultural season just getting started in Southern Oregon, first on Bretko’s list is making her Sour Cherry Power Elixir, made with cherries from Valley View Orchard and one of the many “Seasonal Small Batch Wonders” produced at Uber Herbal.
With a passion for sourcing from local organic farms, Liz has expanded her kitchen offerings to include a rotating selection of fresh creative meals on toast, or in a bowl if you prefer sans bread. Her recipes are well chosen to include whole seasonal ingredients with nourishing and healing factors, like radishes, avocado, nutrition-packed sprouts from TerraSol Organics.
Starting and launching a successful business in just two years is quite a feat, crowdfunding does not work for everyone, and what some may not know is that if you don’t reach your crowdfunding goal, you do not get any of the money people chip in, so turning a successful Kickstarter campaign into a successful local business, is a lot of hard work. Much of that work has to be done on social media, something that Bretko understands well. Look no further than Uber Herbal’s Facebook and Instagram pages for more gorgeous images of fresh, organic ingredients, and short Instagram videos of simmering concoctions.
You will notice Bretko’s daughter, BE, appearing in many of the photos and videos, always with an apron on and helping mom make incredible offerings for the shop. No doubt this little one who has been by her mother’s side from securing the location of the shop to the actual production of goods, has learned what hard work looks like. What a powerful lesson for this young woman, to see from start to finish how to earn a living giving back to the community something so many have lost touch with, pure plant power.
Some material reprinted with permission from Uber Herbal.