A Budding Business Sprouts and Grows


Innovation and business are exciting.  To me.  Basically, it’s the process of creating something from nothing.  It takes imagination, vision, hard work and persistence.  Just amazing when you think about it.

I recently attended a Tea Tasting luncheon at the Botanical Garden where our friends at Piper & Leaf told their story and shared a little bit of the history of tea.  Here is their history – all of almost two years.

Piper & Leaf is a local business that was planted in Huntsville, Alabama on May 2, 2013.  The company started life as “Samovar Gardens” and sold compost tea and distributed their product through a dozen different local farmers markets.  They quickly changed their product from tea for the garden to tea for you and me.  At the end of 2013, they changed their name to Piper & Leaf.  They were inspired to use “Piper” as it is an old English word for tea pot and “leaf”… well, that’s obvious.


I enjoy their teas very much.  It’s high quality and they skillfully include local fruits and herbs in every tasty tea.  Different sourcing methods are used:  they buy produce from farmers, some ingredients are grown in their own gardens, or some may even come from foraging.  There’s nothing like wild blackberries.  It’s important to them to support the local farmer and connect with people.  For example, they bought pumpkins from Tate Farms to become the star of their Pumpkin Moonshine Tea.

If you’ll allow me to wander off topic for a bit I want to say that I admire Tate Farms too.  These days when so many farmers complain that they can’t make a profit and farms fold up, Tate Farms just used a little bit of imagination and creativity to sell their produce, related products and family entertainment.  I congratulate them on their success!  One just adapts and finds a way.

Piper & Leaf is creative in their product options too.  You can buy the loose leaf tea and brew it at home which is my favorite.  They will sell you hot tea or iced tea in refillable mason jars.  You see scads of their mason jars at farmer’s markets. They will even sell you tea concentrate along with all kinds of accessories.


Your used tea leaves make great compost and mine all end up in my compost pile.  Piper & Leaf does the same. It has lead them back to where they started because they have more compost than they can use so they give it back to the farmers.

I’m interested to see where their growth leads them from here.


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