From Mascot to Marketing
I've been drinking Wheatgrass Juice for as long as I can remember. I was 4 when my mom started Evergreen with my grandfather. She would do all of the deliveries herself dragging me along with her. We had a work van with a trunk freezer in the back, and I’d ride along as she’d make her way around Toronto delivering to stores. Sometimes if I was lucky, I’d score a frozen yogurt, or some gluten-free crackers from a shop owner.
Along with my older siblings I was dragged along to natural health tradeshows, I was the closest thing we had to a mascot. After all, who could resist the 5-year-old with big eyes handling you a sample?! It was fun, we would usually leave the show with bags full of 'natural' chocolate bars, snacks, and 'healthy' energy drinks.
"She (my mom) always prioritized time with her kids
over growing the business. I for one am thankful"
When we started doing events in the states, tradeshows turned into mini-family vacations. (You’ve got to take what you can get right?) I was probably 15 before I made it to Disneyland. I didn’t care. You spend your childhood watching Disney movies and before every film is a 5-minute ad showing off Disney world (and here I thought advertising to children was illegal?!)
My mom made a conscious decision in the early years of Evergreen. She wanted to see the business grow, but not at the expense of her kids. She always prioritized time with her kids over growing the business. I for one am thankful.
While Evergreen has been a part of my life for many years, it wasn’t until after high-school that I actually worked a harvest. In case you don’t know, we only harvest for a short season each year. We plant in the fall and harvest in the spring. So for the month of May we scramble to produce all the Wheatgrass Juice we will need for the whole year. Somehow I managed to avoid this until I needed a summer job between semesters in University.
I started in production, spending 10 hours a day moving wheatgrass with a pitchfork. I worked every year through University, and after graduating began with Evergreen full-time. Now I handle our website, and all of our graphic design. I still work every harvest, managing different aspects of production (though I spend less time with a pitchfork in hand then when I started).
My mother took on the challenge of Wheatgrass because it was something she believed in. Wheatgrass is an excellent source of Chlorophyll and growing it outdoors meant we could grow without having to manage the risk of mold (which is a challenge for tray-grown wheatgrass). She was able to cultivate wheatgrass that had a smooth taste, and freezing allowed her to provide product year round (despite the limited growing season in Canada).
I’m the third generation in my family to work at Evergreen. It was an idea that was sparked by my grandfather, my mom took it across Canada and the States, and now I have the privilege to continue pushing it even further. We have some exciting plans for the future, and I for one, can hardly wait to see where we go from here.
About the Author:
Richard MacIntosh is a third generation Wheatgrass farmer. Some of his earliest memories include driving around the city with his mom as she'd make deliveries to local stores. He started helping with harvest between semesters in college, and now helps to manage production and marketing.