Spring is in the Air at our New Factory!

Spring is in the Air at our New Factory!

Spring is the season of hope, growth, and new beginnings - and Yaupon Brothers is growing, we are hopeful for an amazing year, and we have a new farm & factory! 

To all the Friends and Supporters of YB:

Over the past two years, we have called our factory in Edgewater, FL home. But, due to circumstances beyond our control, we will be moving from that location on April 1st, 2024. Another Yaupon producer will be moving into our old space, and despite what you may hear, we are not affiliated with them in any way. The situation is the result of some of our partners who have left our company to start their own Yaupon venture. They are the owners of the building, and we are unable to renew our lease. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but we want to avoid confusion between our brand and the new one moving into our old location. Yaupon Brothers is still the OG Yaupon company! Please accept no substitutions...we appreciate you!

This is not a sad post. Conversely, this somewhat abrupt situation opened up new and exciting opportunities for us. The White Family - original founders of Yaupon Brothers - have purchased Florida's oldest organic farm, Eagle's Nest, in Crescent City. The farm is a former citrus grove and was organic from its earliest days. It became certified organic in the 1990's, and operated continuously from 1900 to 2019, when the trees were killed by the citrus greening disease, HLB. For the past several months, we have been preparing the farm to be our new home. The historic structures have been rehabilitated and the fertile ground is ready to receive 5,000 of our trees in the next month. Eventually, over 25,000 Yaupon trees will be planted at Eagle's Nest. The historic citrus packing facilities will serve as our new tea factory and also a venue space where people can hold weddings, events, and all sorts of fun stuff. Additionally, we are really excited to be saving a historic piece of Old Florida with this move. The Eagle's Nest is the birthplace of organic agriculture in Florida, and it will now be the seat of innovation for America's blossoming Yaupon industry. This change is pure serendipity, and we are stoked to have the opportunity to share it with you. 

The Story of Eagle's Nest:

Eagle's Nest Grove was founded in 1900 by Levant DeWolf Sr., who was a Florida native. He named the grove Eagle's Nest because a pair of Bald Eagles nested there for several years. DeWolf was a deeply religious man, and in a 1976 interview with the Florida Times Union, DeWolf, then nearing 90, stated that he never used pesticides, fertilizers, or chemicals on his grove because it would have defied his religious beliefs. He sold the grove to Rod & Mary Mitchell who continued his tradition of organic agriculture and obtained USDA organic certification in the 1990's. The grove survived many of Florida's worst freezes, and became a regional packing hub for other growers in the region. It was the northernmost Citus packing house in Florida, and the largest buyer of the grove's organic citrus was Whole Foods Market. After Rod died suddenly, Mary continued to operate the grove solo until her death. The trees were infected with HLB, (like most of Florida's citrus), and they were pushed and burned in 2019. The old packing house was closed and sat idle for years...until we came along. 

Image: Rod Mitchell working in the Eagle's Nest Packing House circa 2003.

In October of 2023, our family purchased the Eagle's Nest and have been rehabilitating the farm since. In April, we will open to the public and our production and ag facilities will all be located in Crescent City. The farm will regain its organic certification under our new management. 

Many of our Operations will Remain in New Smyrna Beach:

As natives of New Smyrna Beach, we take the impacts we have on our community very seriously. Our nearly 80 acres of organic wild-harvesting area will remain in New Smyrna Beach, as will our sales and order fulfillment. We will be opening a small office on U.S.1 in New Smyrna Beach to fulfill orders and accommodate pickups and local operations. Bryon will be remaining in New Smyrna Beach alongside key staff members. We will ALWAYS be the OG New Smyrna tea company!

We are sad to leave behind our friends at Dutch Oven Bread, but hope to offer their products at both our new Crescent City and New Smyrna Beach locations. Our cafe and factory in Edgewater are now closed as we work to finalize our move to the new locations. Edgewater has been a very supportive community, and we are proud to have contributed to the local economy. We thank you sincerely.

We look forward to welcoming you to Yaupon Brother’s new factory at the historic Eagle’s Nest Farm AND at our forthcoming new home in New Smyrna Beach! Stay tuned for details! 

Image: the old homestead at Eagle's Nest Farm.

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