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Our Story – Vanillablossom™ Flavors, Inc.

Our Story

Vanillablossom™ Flavors, Inc. is a family affair.

Vanillablossom Flavors is a Canadian small business on Vancouver Island, offering premium vanilla products and spices at accessible prices. For owner David Best, vanilla is a family affair. The company was started by David's father, Larry Best, who operated the company for 35 years. David grew up learning the business from his father, and he still uses his dad's recipe for for vanilla extract.
 
In recent years, David expanded Vanillablossom's product line from solely vanilla extracts to include a wide variety of spices, and he prides himself on dealing directly with suppliers to ensure high-quality products for customers. All vanilla beans are imported directly from a locally-owned and operated farm in Madagascar, and all manufacturing—from making extract to packaging spices—is done in-house at the Vanillablossom Flavors workshop in Saanichton. Whole vanilla beans are hand-packaged and sold in resealable glass tubes (never plastic), because only glass prevents the beans from drying out.


Formally becoming Vanillablossom Flavors in 2002, the company continues to fulfill the needs of both local and national food companies. Vanillablossom products are carried by retail stores and food service distributors across Canada.

 

Our Team

Richard (Assistant Manager)

Born in the Netherlands, Richard considers himself a jack-of-all-(food-related)-trades, and he has travelled the globe, working in the food industry. With cheffing degrees earned in both the Netherlands and Belgium, Richard is qualified to work as Head Chef in any restaurant, anywhere in the world, but after settling down on Vancouver Island, Richard chose to join Vanillablossom Flavors. As Assistant Manager, Richard’s primary focus is introducing Vanillablossom products to restaurants, breweries, and stores in BC and throughout Canada. He is also passionate about developing new product lines, and nothing excites him more than a fresh idea. When he isn’t at the shop or operating his roof-cleaning business, Richard enjoys living by the ocean and working towards his goal of trying as many different food products and flavors as possible.

Sander

Originally from the Netherlands, Sander first lived in Vancouver, working as a social worker on the Downtown East Side, before moving to Victoria and joining the Vanillablossom Flavors team. Sander is Food Handler and HACCP certified, and is working to implement the Safe Quality Food Program at Vanillablossom. He also manages inventory, runs the shop floor, and occasionally tries to teach his coworkers phrases in Dutch. Sander is passionate about gardening, growing his own food, and ensuring that others have the opportunity to do the same. To that end, Sander is the president of the Central Saanich Community Gardens Society. When he isn’t in either the Vanillablossom shop or his vegetable patch, Sander keeps up with European football and propagates succulents from cuttings.

Natasha

A sixth-generation Victorian, Natasha came to Vanillablossom Flavors as a website content creator. She writes the Vanillablossom En-spice-lopedia—your online source for the weird and wonderful history of herbs and spices—keeps the webshop listings and photographs up to date, and runs the Vanillablossom Etsy store. Food Handler certified, Natasha is also the self-proclaimed “Spice Queen,” packaging nearly every container of spices in the shop (as well as a lot of the vanilla products). As ruler of the spice room, she is responsible for Vanillablossom’s allergen protocols. When not in the shop, Natasha can usually be found working on a sewing project with either a documentary or a true crime podcast. She also loves to cook and bake, and hopes to start her own cake company (using Vanillablossom vanilla extract, of course!) in the near future.

Tristan

A Saanich native, Tristan has lived and worked in Greater Victoria his whole life. He is Food Handler and HACCP certified, and is the primary person responsible for filling every container of vanilla extract and paste that leaves the shop. He is also Vanillablossom Flavors’ Sanitation Officer, and does most of the work that makes the shop a food (and human)-safe workspace. Tristan often controls the music on the shop floor, and usually raps along with his favourites. In his spare time, Tristan enjoys watching documentaries, especially those about outer space, and spending time with his family.