Lavender Creek Co., LLC is a family-owned business and lavender farm dedicated to improving lives through the soothing and healthful benefits of lavender. Cultivating 2 acres of lavender at the end of Carmel Valley Road, they offer soothing support to a growing list of healthcare and hospitality businesses. Lavender Creek has evolved from an online retailer to also becoming a specialty marketeer teaming with a variety of local and regional partners, including non-profits like Meals on Wheels - distributing comforting lavender towels to the elderly homebound to the high-end Carmel Valley Lodge - providing in-room towel warmers to pamper their guests. Their unique mission is to grow delicious fragrant fields of lavender and create naturally healthful products that soothe and enhance peoples’ lives.
In July of 2018, newlyweds Myriah and her Air Force Veteran husband, Ryan Hopkins, filed their first Articles of Organization starting their small business journey. They had always dreamed of leaving their city office jobs and starting a farm and family business, and their first step in that direction was an online business retailing baby and children’s products on Amazon.com called Charity Baby LLC.
After two years of business, they realized that they would need to create their own brand of products if they wanted to be successful. The couple decided to follow two of their passions: lavender and the beautiful California Central Coast area. They took their interest in natural wellness products and began importing food grade 100% Lavandula angustifolia from France’s Provence Region. The couple packaged the culinary lavender and started distributing it for teas, baking, and crafts through their own Lavender Creek Co., LLC.
Myriah and Ryan came to the SBDC in May 2021 seeking help with their business plan and financing to expand their business. They had detailed corporate experience but were new to owning, managing, and expanding their own small business, had recently relocated to California’s Central Coast, and were considering options for expanding their business offerings. Those expansion plans included acquiring land and starting their own food grade lavender farm. During this time, they were also juggling their corporate work, expanding their family, and were faced with the challenges of an economy recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
SBDC Business Advisor, Robert Kramer (also a veteran), offered guidance on their business plan, expansion and marketing opportunities, and on various financing options, including signature, micro and other SBA loans vs. agricultural loans helping them to secure the loan to obtain the land for their planned lavender farm.
Being new to the area, their SBDC advisor encouraged them to enter partnerships with local community groups and agencies, and Lavender Creek is now working with local health care providers, hospitality venues, wineries, and non-profits to expand their market. Further since the area is known for tourism, they discovered an interest and market potential for expansion by supporting tourism via future Agri-tourism events tied to their new lavender farm. Cal Coastal SBDC connected them with UC Davis's Agri-tourism program.
Cal Coastal SBDC has provided 22 hours of contact time with Lavender Creek Co., LLC over the past four years. Working with Ryan and Myriah on fine tuning their business plan (including completion of a SWOT analysis and creating a compelling value proposition and vision) and reviewing their business structure, assets, financial condition, marketing, e-commerce strategies and possible market expansion opportunities, has strengthened the client’s business start and growth. It helped with their acquisition of capital, expansion of products and partnerships, and increased their focus on strengthening local business opportunities that can be parlayed into international product sales and possible local Agri-tourism opportunities.
With SBDC and other community and agricultural help, Lavender Creek Co., LLC purchased land and planted their first crop of Salinas Valley-grown lavender, harvested in the summer 2022. They have launched new lavender products and developed local partnerships to get those products into the market – specifically in the healthcare, wine, and tourism industries. Lavender Creek’s most recent product introduction in 2023 is Lavender Refreshment Towels bringing a new dimension of comfort to their customers, including the Eden Valley Care Center (a 59-bed skilled nursing facility in the rural Soledad Community Health Care District
The Lavender Creek Co., LLC metrics are astounding:
- Contracts: New comfort care product line ordered by Meals on Wheels of Monterey, the Soledad Health Care District and Scheid Vineyards within a month of product rollout in 2023.
- Loans or capital: Over $54,000 in capital funding for agriculture loans to purchase farmland and irrigation equipment. Received $2,500 during the 2022 Monterey Bay Startup Challenge as a runner-up in the Venture Division.
- Exports: Expanded from originally packaging and distributing imported French lavender online to growing domestic lavender for packaging and selling online to customers in other countries.
- Trademark: Received a registered trademark from USPTO on 2/8/22 for their name “Lavender Creek Co” filed in the Natural Agricultural Products Category for Dried Lavender.
- Lavender Creek Co., LLC is featured in the Central CA Rural Development section of the 2022 ASBDC Annual Report, available nationally online https://sbdc.webflow.io/ca/central
- 2022 nominee for Central CA SBDC Small Business of the Year in four categories:
- Woman-Owned Business of the Year
- Veteran-Owned business of the Year
- Recovery/Resilient Business of the year
- Exporter of the Year
- Featured guest speaker - Central CA SBDC Source Diverse Source Local webinar in October 2022, “Marketing and Proposals” from a client’s perspective