For the eighteenth interview, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Jonathan Simons, owner/artist and Julia Edgerton Simons studio manager of Treespoons in business for 35 years.
I found this company at The Natural Products Expo in Anaheim this past March by way of my friend, Leslie. This was on Thursday afternoon before the start of the show, which is Friday. I found him sitting in the lobby of the hotel and sat down with him to take a break. He showed me this little wooden spoon he got from a company and I instantly loved what I saw. It was so exquisite and had incredible craftsmanship for such a small utensil. On the spoon was engraved the website of the company and I immediately looked it up online. I am a “foodie,” because I am a chef and always looking for interesting utensils to use. The website was fabulous and showed picture of all the utensils and each one is a work of art, in and of itself. I was so looking forward to meeting the incredible artist himself, tomorrow and get some products to review.
I met Jonathan and Julia, a husband and wife team and this was their first time at Expo West. They had a fantastic booth that seemed to display most of their products and each one has a specific use. I could have taken one of each to review, because I loved the style, texture, color and shapes of the utensils. I could have stayed at the booth for a long time going through each item and understand from Jonathan how he came to make each product and why he made it the way he did (shape, cut, texture, etc), as I was very fascinated with all that I saw. I did get to take home some products to use and review for my youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal
Question #1: Tell me briefly about yourself and why you decided to get involved in the “health” industry?
I have become involved in the health food industry in an interesting way: I make pure, solid, wild-cherry wood spoons. I generally sell my spoons among the art and gallery trade. I have been designing, inventing and making woodspoons for over 35 years. The wood I use comes from our own state of Pennsylvania grown under the sustainable statutes. I design wood utensils for every use that I can imagine. My philosophy for a good life is ‘usefulness’ this is what I build my life and my designs and my business on.
The health food industry is looking for utensils that don’t have plastics or unhealthy resins incorporated into their products; this naturally places my spoons into the health food world.
My wife also involves herself in alternative health solutions and often asks me for wood utensils relating to the ‘raw food’ commerce. Because we are both artists I make my wood tools with balance and beauty.
The ‘health industry’ is a natural for us.
Question #2: If you were stranded on a desert island and were allowed to take only 5 items with you (they can be food, books or specific products that are all health-related), what would they be and why?
My wife, Julia, water, snorkel equipment a sharp knife and a pan (or a resort hotel).
Question #3: What one message do you want to share with the people of this world that is crucial for their ultimate well-being and longevity?
Usefulness is the key to a happy life.
Questions #4: If someone could afford to purchase only one product at this moment to start their journey towards better health (food or health-related), what would you recommend and why?
A blender like the ‘Vitamix’ because the shortest path to good health is fresh raw food. A powerful blender makes that much more accessible. (When I spoke to the ‘Vitamix’ company about purchasing my wooden blender tool design that fits around the blades –they said they had no interest in wooden products.)
Question #5: Tell me more about your business/company and/or products you offer to the public to help them achieve optimal health and well-being?
Wood corresponds to good.
Cherry wood grows locally in Pennsylvania we have the most beautiful cherry wood forests in the world. The reason is because 120 years ago they clear-cut our Pennsylvania area- what grew back first was the wild Cherry trees. Since then they have caringly cut the cherry trees and continued the healthy growth of cherry wood for the world.
Cherry Wood is also known to not harbor bacteria, when it is used for cooking, eating or cutting boards it is a safe flexible healthy hardwood. I do not use the Cherry Wood ‘bark’ of the Cherry tree in any of my products.
We enjoy an intangible element of peace while connecting with nature through a natural wooden tool. There is also a peace of mind one has when the tool they use feels smooth and comfortable in the hand. I work to have my spoon designs flow well; while working with our food. This usefulness is my goal I attempt to achieve as an artist of wooden kitchen tools.
Question #6: What are your hopes/aspirations/dreams for the future health of the people and the planet?
I once heard that the people of the ‘whole world’ could fit in the one state of Oregon. Each with a quarter-acre to grow and share their food. The idea that there are too many people in this world is painful to me and questionable. I am not sure if the ‘Oregon’ story is actually true. But I do believe if we go through this temporary time of our life with the teachings and understanding of CARE for each other and our future generations that our choices will begin to change the wrong choices that many of the ‘Corporations’ have made in this short span of time. Our Beautiful Earth is quite capable of healing itself along with ITS peoples choices based on CARE. Our choices need to be based on the real history of our planet, not the history we have been handed by faulty corporate funding and paid politicians.
Question #7: Who is your greatest hero and why?
Emanuel Swedenborg; because that is where I learned the correspondences of the ancient Words. Swedenborg is sometimes called the Buddha of the North. (Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki)
Question #8: I know that there are variables as to how much food/calories each person consumes when eating raw vegan food (based on many lifestyle factors, etc), but is there a basic guideline you would recommend for everyone?
My best Raw Food information I ever had was to make sure each day to eat – dark greens – nuts and fruits if you are ever feeling a little ‘off’, one of these essential foods may be missing in your day. (Ani Phyo)
For more information on this company and all their beautiful and useful cherry wood utensils, go to: http://www.treespoons.com
Also, check out my video review of some of their products on my youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal