Amaya CALVO VALDERRAMA

Project Owner - Happy Plantes

Local and organic agriculture

Trade of local and organic Herbal teas

Promoting regional commitment

Volvic (63)
Local and organic agriculture
In 2016, Amaya Calvo Valderrama, who is passionate about wild plants, decided to create Happy Plantes, selling organic and customisable herbal teas made from the treasures of nature found in the Auvergne region. Located in Volvic, the company relies on its region and years of know-how for its development.

Wild plants, a true passion

A real passion for plants: that is what motivates Amaya. Throughout her training in agricultural engineering, specialising in medicinal plants, she completed a four-month internship in Nepal working with tea producers. She then spent six months in Cuba to study locally grown medicinal plants. After starting her career in Paris, she decided to move to the Auvergne region with her husband to live in a greener environment. When she arrived, she met a co-operative of professional harvesters who taught her the art of picking wild plants. It was a case of love at first pick! Local know-how, the region – she loved everything. All she had to do was find a link between her training, her passion, and these unique professions.

Keep off the flower beds, Happy Plantes is growing Amaya’s experience in the tea trade along with her love of the Auvergne region led her produce herbal teas made with the wild plants picked by the harvesters. The idea is to “promote the Massif central region as well as the know-how of the harvesters and their impact on the environment”. However, it was not all plain sailing at the beginning. Amaya was hesitant and had concerns – she required support for the project. First off, she contacted regional bodies, then France Active Auvergne offered its support by helping to finalise her business plan and create her portfolio to apply for a first bank loan. France Active offered its 70% guarantee for a loan from Crédit Agricole (a major French bank), and made its own interest-free loan of €5,000. She also benefitted from a 2 000 € Cap-Jeunes bonus, as part of the Youth Employment Initiative of the European Social Fund. What was the most useful part of all that? Amaya immediately thinks of the project officer: “For me, the project officer was someone who really understood us, that we were not afraid to talk to, and who helped us take the project all the way”.

Brewing a methodology

After a year in development, Amaya opened a shop in Volvic, launched a website, and found two distributors. Her business grew little by little. In one year, she managed to convince 40 distributors to work with her. She enlarged her offer by creating a system of bespoke herbal teas via her website. She offers teas for everyone from sportspeople to entrepreneurs and “geeks”. Now, three years after its inception, the company has three employees and 150 distributors selling its products. To continue to reinvent, the young entrepreneur is now looking to create recipes for big-name chefs in order to move into the world of haute cuisine. She also wants to create new teas for other brands, drawing on her expertise in plants and her network of harvesters. Amaya is also starting to work with organisations involved in preserving the natural world and plant diversity.

Old-fashioned harvesting, offering real possibilities to overcome ecological challenges.

Have benefited

from a guarantee of

10 500€

from a solidarity loan of

5 000€

from a bonus of

2 000€

Were supported by

France Active Auvergne

In 2016

It's here !

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