For a year, Delta County has, along with the rest of the country, had the added unusual stress of a global pandemic. On an unrelated but not insignificant subject, local business Hempy Llama Tea has successfully made and sold their hemp-blend tea options for that same year.
“We started [the business] in March of last year, like right at the height of the pandemic,” said Sara Robinson, who owns and runs the company alongside her husband, John. “We had the idea for this and we started the trial and error pieces for this, beginning the business last year, before we knew that COVID was even a thing.”
It lined up in an unplanned way, but nevertheless, Robinson reported that they still made sales all year and that the business did well.
“I think people were just looking for another way to get their health back, another way to take down their stress levels,” Robinson said. “Because everybody was scared, stressed out, not able to sleep well. I think it was actually a blessing to start it when we did.”
Hempy Llama Tea is a home-bound distribution business. The Robinsons converted a room of their house, which is in the Cedaredge area, into a commercial kitchen so they could legally sell their products in a commercial manner without having to leave home, where their children are homeschooled.
Locally, Hempy Llama brand tea can be found at Main Street Market in Cedaredge and Doghouse Espresso in Delta. Also, the sample packs are sold at The Body Shop Therapeutic Massage N’ Spa in Delta.
Beyond that, anyone can take orders from the website, hempyllamatea.com.
“It does really well at a hemp store that’s out in Georgia,” Robinson said. “That’s where we do most of our wholesale stuff.”
Also, Robinson said they plan to represent at Applefest this fall, which will be Oct. 1-3, with vendor booths being open the last of those two days.
The Robinson family only moved to Colorado about two years ago, when they were introduced to the benefits of CBD and hemp. They began looking at the hemp flower as a medicine.
Robinson has a medical background and claims to have seen numerous unfortunate side effects from pharmaceutical medications.
“We started kind of playing around with different ways to utilize it, whether we should bake it into some things, or whatever the different ideas were, and then we came across the idea of adding it to tea because different types of teas have amazing health benefits,” Robinson said. “People don’t really utilize it as much out here in the Western side of the world. People tend to jump on the pharmaceutical side of the bandwagon and things like that.”
After starting with a few good flavor mixes, Robinson expanded into seven flavors with plans to add more later. Those so far include green tea, chocolate coconut creme, chamomile, vanilla chai and raspberry lemon mint.
Robinson noted that a few of the drinks are actually tisanes, as they don’t actually include tea leaves.
In addition to the individual cups of tea that can be purchased at Main Street Market and Doghouse Espresso, Hempy Llama tea can be ordered in packs of 10 or more at hempyllamatea.com, along with other merchandise.
“The biggest reason we did this was to create something to really help people feel more at ease in their minds and in their bodies because it’s necessary right now more than ever,” Robinson said, “and to create something sustainable for our family, that we can just keep building on.”