How Dreaming in What-Ifs Turned to a Feature in FOOD & WINE

How Dreaming in What-Ifs Turned to a Feature in FOOD & WINE

As 2021 comes to a close, Co-Owner Jules Vertrees reflects on the past year, the beginnings of Verve Culture, and the relationships and products that make Verve Culture so special in a sea of mass-produced sameness. 


Back in 2018, Jacquie and I, a mother-daughter business duo, were tired. Tired of mass-produced items that didn’t have a story or stand the test of time. Tired of uninspired gifts that fulfilled an obligation, but never demonstrated care, thought and craftsmanship. And most of all, tired of the way big business was profiting while the real heroes and heroines—the craftspeople who put their hard work and creativity into each item–were ignored and underpaid. Enough is enough, we thought. 

So we began to dream in what ifs

What if a company worked hand in hand with artisans to create high-quality, authentic pieces that celebrated the beauty of global cultures without appropriating them?

What if a company sold goods that could transport consumers to a different time and place, whether a Moroccan bath house or a Mexican street fair?

What if a company created products designed to sate rumbling tummies, soothe aching bodies, and inspire impromptu living room concertsproducts designed to bring people together and spark real, lasting joy? 

Making our dream a reality

Convinced our instincts were right, we began a passion project: Verve Culture.

Relying on our connections and savvy gleaned in our past professional experience, we traveled abroad to find expert craftspeople and developed relationships with them as we ideated possible product lines. Kitchen tools, tasty foods, and soothing treatments are all things we love and we had a hunch that others would love them too, especially if they were made using traditional practices and methods by artisans passionate about their work. So we started selling these wares directly to consumers, as well as in a handful of specialty gift shops. Working with artisan partners

The enthusiastic response indicated we were onto something: Consumers wanted products that enhance experiences. And they wanted to know where those products come from.

The Verve Culture team

The Verve Culture Team: Jules, Jacquie and Sarah

Since then, we’ve grown and added new team amazing members (we are looking at you, Sarah!), and we've been thrilled to see shoppers looking for the same things in products that we look for: quality,  authenticity, and a chance to facilitate moments of connection. These elements haven't gone unnoticed. We are honored every time media outlets like Vogue, Allure, and Saveur highlight our products and the craftspeople behind them.

Honored by FOOD & WINE

Most recently, this past August, we were floored when we received an email from the associate culture editor at FOOD & WINE. Not only did they want to include our Artisan Citrus Juicer in their 2021 gift guide, but it was being recommended by Paola Velez, one of the hottest new pastry chefs in the world! We were even more excited when we saw an advance version of the story and found our juicer featured on one of the most prominent pages in the magazine!
Food and Wine Feature Article

Suffice it to say, 2021 has been an incredible year. And not just because our what ifs seem to be more universal than we’d originally thought. Certainly we’re proud that our consumers share our same values, but most of all, we’re continuously honored and humbled to be working with craftspeople of such incredible skill and integrity as they sustain their authentic artisan traditions for future generations. 

Other media mentions

This past year, we’ve also been incredibly thankful to be featured in many other publications. Among them:

Artisan Citrus Juicer: Food & Wine, “Holiday Gift Guide For the Baker,” December 2021

Artisan Citrus Juicer: Outside Online, “Gift Ideas for the Happy Hour Host,” December 2021

Tortilla Press Kit - Red Cast Iron with Servilleta: Buzzfeed, “33 Things For Anyone Who Wants Fast Results But Hates Spending Money,” July 2021

Tortilla Press Kit - Red Cast Iron with Servilleta: Forbes, “Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: Best Gifts For The Quarantined Carb Lover,” February 2021

Moroccan Cooking Tagine for Two: Today, “​​5 big lessons I learned from turning my outdated kitchen into a dream space,” May 2021

Handblown Glassware: Hello Betty, “Verve Culture Handblown Glassware: A Summer Must,” July 2021

Jules Vertrees Owner of Verve Culture
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support. Cheers to you and a fabulous 2022!
Jules from Verve Culture
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