< Barbara J's Organics
Barbara J's Organics

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People sometimes ask me, "How in the world did you decide to start an herb and spice company?" I did not know it then, but it seems that the foundation has been building throughout my life. I can remember my dad and his neighborhood restaurant; he was a great cook and people knew that they could count on a delicious, inexpensive meal at his place. He was very inspirational to me and taught me how to cook easy kid stuff (scrambled eggs, burgers, sandwiches, and mac and cheese) when I was just a tyke! He was a single, hardworking dad with two of us girls and we loved helping out our dad in the kitchen.

I have always loved the chemistry of cooking! Coming from a long line of artists, I have always felt the sense of artful creation. That sense of artistry was something that I came to realize as I was beginning to use an increasingly diverse array of ingredients to create an astonishing number of healthy, tasty meals. My motto became: You gotta eat to survive, so you may as well make super delicious food!

When I went away to college in Santa Barbara, my interest in cooking progressed to a new level. I subscribed to and was inspired by Bon Appetit magazine and as a scientific, yet artful diversion from studying, I would invite my house mates and friends to these amazing dinners as I would try to cook my way through what I deemed the best recipes each month. Each person paid a small fee to cover the expense of the meal and we always had some cheap but nicely paired wine on hand for the chopping of veggies mixed with laughter and lively chatter; we were nourishing our hearts, bodies, and souls and were charged up and ready to live life to the fullest. I consider food an important and intimate way to be with friends and family. Food is meant to be shared with the ones you love.

I was taking an off-campus art class with instructor Jim Leitzell of Columbia College one fine, beautiful, spring day while in the garden at Mountain Sage in Groveland, CA and I started pondering my life and current circumstances. I had been a "stay-at-home" mom and a real estate agent for the past several years. My son was just starting kindergarten and I didn’t need my real estate license to tell me that the housing market was entering a downcycle!

While I was contemplating the shape of a purple iris out there in the garden, I had a sudden epiphany! At that instant, I stopped drawing flowers and began creating the imagery for my herb and spice blends. I had developed a wealth of rubs and blends for marinades throughout my life as a cook and I couldn’t imagine any better way to share both my creative talents and my love for food with other people. I’ve been on a mission ever since - beginning with the artwork and then inviting my friends and family to try my new experiments (thank you all for being such willing guinea pigs).

I believe herbs and spices keep us healthy; good food has the ability to cure what ails us and I believe there is no more healthy life than the one lived tastefully with laughter, love, friends and family. Here’s to your health and our greatest wealth!! Cheers to the Dolce Vita!



Barbara J.