Day 1 at Natural Products Expo West

Natural Products Expo West logoAs the demand for healthy foods, supplements and natural products continues to explode, the carnival known as the Natural Products Expo West by New Hope Media has grown into one of the largest industry showcases in the country with over 50,000 attendees and nearly 2,000 exhibitors.  And much like a carnival, day 1 of this showcase left me thrilled, scared, excited, tired, hopeful, sick & altogether overstimulated. That is to say, I had a GREAT time.

At the press breakfast, I ran into Waylon from Elephant Journal – true confession, I love his indie news site so I walked up and blurted out something stupid. He was really nice and didn’t make fun of me or anything! After snagging my first samples of the day (Boiron’s Oscillococcinum – already a customer of theirs), I headed down for my first look at the convention floor. Who should appear but my buddy David Karr from Guayaki. He quickly and generously filled my previously empty hand with a “cool kids” Guayaki mug full of hot yerba mate, giving me a little natural boost for the next several hours. Just like hubby and I do at home. Score!

When I want a cup of flavored hot tea, I usually grab my bag of loose leaf Zhena’s Gypsy Rose Tea, so it was a delight to meet Zhena herself. I admire her for growing a tiny tea start-up into one of the most sustainable, organic, high-quality companies around.  I made sure to visit the Chico Bag booth so I could finally meet Jenna Otwell and Andy Keller. I own 5 or 6 of their incredibly useful bags, one of which I was already using at the expo to collect my goodies. I also had a very nice catch-up chat with old friend, Siel Ju, on site to report for Mother Nature Network and her own blog – Green LA Girl.

There are samples of just about anything you can imagine, but I tried to be choosy: raw cheese, organic coconut oil, Palestinian olive oil, and tender BBQ were all highlights. While there aren’t as many Kombucha companies there as I had hoped, it was wonderful to connect with those who are attending: Kathy Taylor from Vibranz, Ardi Farshchi from Kombucha 2000, Adam Goodman from Kombucha Botanica and the Wonder Drink folks. I also talked with Kefiplant, a bio tech company that makes a Keir-kombucha extract. Look for more about all these conversations soon.

It was a real pleasure to get together at the end of the day with Eco-Vegan Gal, Whitney Lauritsen, Rachel Avalon and Vanessa Meier to commiserate over the show, relax and try to unwind before hitting the highway back to LA. We agreed that trying to cover the entire show in one day is impossible. Looks like I’ll be heading back on Sunday. Should be fun!

Hannah Crum, The Kombucha Mamma, with David Karr of Guyaki at Natural Products Expo West 2011
David Karr of Guyaki
Hannah Crum, The Kombucha Mamma, with Zhena Muzyka of Zhena's Gypsy Tea at Natural Products Expo West 2011
Zhena Muzyka of Zhena's Gypsy Tea
Hannah Crum, The Kombucha Mamma, with Jenna Otwell and Andy Keller of Chico Bag at Natural Products Expo West 2011
Jenna Otwell and Andy Keller of Chico Bag
Hannah Crum, The Kombucha Mamma, with Kathy Taylor of Vibranz Kombucha at Natural Products Expo West 2011
Kathy Taylor of Vibranz Kombucha
Hannah Crum, The Kombucha Mamma, with Adam Goodman of Kombucha Botanica at Natural Products Expo West 2011
Adam Goodman of Kombucha Botanica
Hannah Crum, The Kombucha Mamma, with Joan Turner and Paul Sposato of Wonder Drink Kombucha at Natural Products Expo West 2011
Joan Turner and Paul Sposato of Wonder Drink Kombucha
Rachel Avalon holds up her wooden fork that she brought to the Natural Products Expo West 2011
Rachel Avalon keeps it green by bringing her own fork.
Hannah Crum, The Kombucha Mamma, and the Celestial Seasonings Kombucha display at Natural Products Expo West 2011
The Celestial Seasonings Kombucha display

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Responses to Day 1 at Natural Products Expo West

  1. This event looks awesome! Any chance of
    one coming up in the near future closer to the valley?

  2. Hey there! I’m totally a newbie to Kombucha and am currently attempting to brew my own for the first time!! Thanks for the great tips on your site!

  3. Oh Hannah, I’m soooo… jealous with you!
    What an Expo you got there! and have a chance to Meet other Kombucha factory too..
    When will Indonesia gonna have expo this?
    🙁

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