Yaupon Brothers receives prestigious local award for sustainability efforts

Yaupon Brothers logo

Yaupon Brothers American Tea Co., a SweetGrass vendor, was recently recognized with a Made in the South Award from Garden & Gun magazine. The award was given in recognition of the company’s commitment to sustainability.

According to the Garden and Gun website, the Sustainability Award, “celebrates a Southern maker who has committed to conservation and the environment by incorporating eco-friendly practices into the business model or by partnering with like-minded nonprofits to give back.” The winners of the Made in the South Awards will be featured in the Garden & Gun’s December 2023/January 2024 issue.

The Florida-based company was founded in 2012 in New Smyrna Beach by brothers Bryon White and Kyle White. Bryon said he has always been a plant enthusiast and is part of the Florida Native Plant Society. When he started diving into the story of Yaupon, the only naturally-caffeinated plant native to North America, he knew he wanted to play a part in reviving it.

His brother, Kyle, showed interest in helping him with the project, and together they co-founded Yaupon Brothers American Tea Co. They now manage 83 acres of wild-crop organic Yaupon.

Yaupon is a good replacement for non-native monocultures like coffee and other sources of caffeine, because it’s native to the region and doesn’t require the use of harmful chemicals, but still creates economic opportunities for all people, Bryon said.

The business puts an emphasis on sustainability and making sure their processes aren’t harmful to the environment.

The Yaupon Brothers website states, “Native plants require fewer inputs, like pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides. Fewer inputs means less pollution in our soil and in our waterways. Our wild-crop operations harvest Yaupon in sustainable amounts that preserves the health of the trees, and we destroy invasive plant species like the Brazilian Pepper in our wild-crop areas. All Yaupon Brothers growing and processing operations are certified organic.”

The SweetGrass Team congratulates the company on this prestigious award and looks forward to future partnerships and collaboration. You can learn more about yaupon and its benefits on our blog.

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