–By Dana Jean Costantino
For this issue I am so de-lighted that I got the chance to speak with Taylor Clarke, one of the founders of Amborella Organics. Their eco-friendly and healthy (and delicious too) products are not only unique and beautiful, they are multi-layered: such as a lollipop whose stick you can plant after eating it — the biodegradable stick contains a seed which will then grow into a plant or herb! What an idea! Taylor answers a series of ques-tions that shed light on run-ning an eco-friendly business, what it takes to grow as a company, and how to make a positive impact in today’s market landscape. With an emphasis on nature, health and wellness, and a little help from Ambo-rella Organics, we can find some new sprouts of positive being in our busy city lives.
Q: Where did the idea for your brand sprout from?
A: My co-founder and husband Brennan grew up gardening with his grandmother. Years later, he was watering his tomatoes and reminiscing about the time they spent in the garden together. He wondered about how he could create a product that allowed other people to have that experience in nature with someone they love. As he day-dreamed, he began to think about how the flowers in his garden looked like lollipops — bulb and stem, stick and candy. This is where the idea of a lollipop that could be devoured then planted to grow herbs and flowers was first born. He shared this with me, and we began to develop the seed-bearing technology and sourced a candy-maker to con-ceive preliminary recipes that have continued to evolve alongside our values.
Amborella Organics Seed Bearing Lollipops. Photo credit: Heather Marie Collins
Q: How many years have you been in business and what would you say is the biggest learning experience from when you started till now?
A: It will be seven years in March! Growing a company you’re passionate about doesn’t make it easy; sometimes it makes it more challenging. Stay true to your vision and re-mind yourself of what you’re capable of achieving — grit is essential.
Q: Are you developing any new products or flavors that you can tell us about?
A: Yes! We just launched the first 100 percent recyclable gummy pouch on the market with our vegan Garden Gummies. They contain 0g of sugar, no sug-ar alcohols, and are offered in botanical shapes and flavors. We have an immunity flavor, sour, and a multi-pack with flavors that nod to our seed-bearing lollipops. The gummy space is crowded, and we have no interest in creating a product unless we can add value in several ways. We truly feel we’ve done that with our Garden Gummies.
Q: What is most rewarding for you as you continue this journey with your brand?
A: Most rewarding is seeing humungous smiles on faces when they learn about a seed-bearing lollipop, kids thinking about sustainability differently, and providing jobs as a small business owner. From our internal kitchen and packaging team, to graphic de-signers, food safety, photography, and so on, the impact really is incredible.
Q: I love that the lollipops have a biodegradable stick that can be planted, and seeds sprout from it to grow flowers and herbs. Which are your fa-vorite herbs and flowers?
A: We have a raised garden bed at home and on a practical level we use the herbs the most, but it’s nice to have the flowers to brighten the space. Mari-gold, grown from our peach and marigold seed-bearing lollipop, is a great pest deterrent too. This pop was used at Dis-ney’s Coco premier years ago!
Q: What are some things that you do daily that help the environment, and what do you recommend for those of us who want to take better care of planet Earth?
A: Aside from doing our best to continue building a sustainable brand, you can easily spot Brennan getting out of the water after he surfs, because he’s collecting trash. I have a lot of respect for other brands who are authentic and working hard to make a differ-ence. I try to uphold them and the planet with my purchasing power on a daily basis. My advice is to be more connected to nature because when you are, you will inherently protect it.
Q: Since we are an NYC-based newspaper, where can our readers find your products locally?
A: KINKA, based in Astoria, offers deliveries in Manhattan. We love their plant-sitters’ guide on their website. Buy some low maintenance apart-ment plants (and our pops). Be on the lookout for their pop-ups across Manhattan soon. https://www.kinka.nyc/. We’re also sold at New Stand on Broadway and West 44th Street (https://www.timessquarenyc. org/locations/new-stand), Bright Pharmacy & Medical Supply in Brooklyn, and Rosa-mond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. Additional New York connections we’ve worked with include University Neighborhood Middle School, NYU Gallatin, L’Oréal, Tommy Hilfiger, Squarespace, Marc Jacobs, URBN Playground, and City Gardeners Club of New York City.
Q: Any advice you can share for those out there wanting to start their own healthy/ eco-friendly business?
A: Find a way to add value and dive in. Consumers want sustainable products and brands more than ever.