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Change is Afoot at Mountain Rose Herbs


Shawn Donnille, owner of Mountain Rose Herbs

In September of this year, after nearly three decades of amazing leadership, longtime Mountain Rose Herbs owner Julie Bailey announced that she was ready to retire and pass on ownership of Mountain Rose to her trusted partner, Mountain Rose Herbs co-owner and CEO Shawn Donnille. “On September 30th, I bought out my partner of 20 years, and most trusted friend, Julie Bailey,” said Shawn on the occasion. “Both Julie and I co-owned and successfully managed the company from 2000-2020 and with fond memories I wish her the best for her retirement.” As we pivot to look ahead at what is next for Mountain Rose Herbs, we want to take this opportunity to share news and let you know more about the direction we are heading as a company.

As many of you know, Mountain Rose Herbs was founded in 1987 by renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar as a small mail-order company. Julie Bailey purchased the company in 1991 and hired Shawn Donnille to manage the shipping department. Fast forward 33 years and Mountain Rose Herbs is now one of the largest suppliers of organic herbs in the nation. Over the ensuing years, it was Shawn who guided us toward the organic certification that is a hallmark of our company today and he built the company’s first website, making Mountain Rose the only herb purveyor in the United States to sell products online at that time. In 2001, he became a co-owner, and he and Julie moved the business to Oregon to be closer to the company’s farm operators, wild harvesters, and processors. This move enabled Mountain Rose Herbs to become a certified organic processor through Oregon Tilth, and to establish our on-site laboratory and quality control department, which is unmatched in the industry.

Julie and Shawn stepped back from management in 2017, turning the day to day operations over to an executive team while Shawn devoted his time to environmental causes and groups. Like many businesses, however, Mountain Rose Herbs has been profoundly impacted by COVID-19. Shawn came back into an active role as CEO of Mountain Rose in February 2020, just as the first cases were reaching Oregon. Overseeing the company during the pandemic has been galvanizing. “I came back on as the CEO in February, which also coincided with COVID…” he said. “Quite honestly, I have never experienced anything more paramount in my life.” The pandemic necessitated a major restructuring of the company. However, this difficult process put us back on solid ground and set us up for renewed growth, enabling us to continue and expand our efforts for herbalism, organics, and organic farming far into the future.

With the company’s success and Shawn’s vision for the future, it is time to bring our branding up to date; in the upcoming months, you will be seeing new house-made product lines, beautiful reusable tea tins, and other improvements. We have also realized it is time to consolidate our six separate facilities in order to streamline operations and communications. This process will take two to three years as we mindfully create the infrastructure needed for all of our teams to be together. We are currently in the initial stages of finding the right campus to give us enough operational space and grounds that we can upgrade with nature and wildlife in mind.

In the upcoming months, we hope you will visit our website, blog, and social media channels as we place even stronger emphasis on sharing the most useful content and educational resources.

 


Topics: Inside Mountain Rose Herbs

Heidi

Written by Heidi on November 30, 2020

Heidi is a native Oregonian and an award winning freelance writer with a passion for urban homesteading. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and has been honored to receive a number of literary prizes including the esteemed Pushcart Prize, and an Individual Artists Award in Creative Writing from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. When she isn’t working in the garden, cleaning the henhouse, preserving food for winter, pruning the fruit trees, or writing and editing content for really fantastic small businesses, you’ll find her in her quilting room, or somewhere with her nose in a book, or up in the mountains alongside her husband and her terrier pup, Gracie Cakes.


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