Meet Dria Price and Halima Salazar, the women behind Justevia Teas.
Written by Leslie Criss | Photographed by Joe Worthem
Whether tending to them or talking about them at Brown’s Farm, Dria Price and Halima Salazar are knee-deep in organic herbs every day. It should come as no big surprise the two young women recently decided to start a tea company. One of the herbs they grow at the farm is stevia, a healthy alternative to sugar — thus the name of their tea: Justevia (justeviateas.com).
“We started drying and grinding herbs,” Price said. “And we bought some cute little bags for a trial run.”
A cousin of Price’s, Tammy Herod, asked her to create a flyer for her organization’s showcase market that was coming up in a few months. Herod asked Price one day before the market if she would pick up the banner at the print shop. When Salazar heard about the market, she told Price they needed to sell tea there.
“We started scrambling,” Salazar said. “We had very little, but we decided we would just do it.”
They finished the design and had a logo printed on the fly. And they worked all night stuffing little tea bags with herbs. They hoped to sell enough to pay the vendor fee. At the end of the market, the pair had sold out of tea.
“I looked at Dria and said, ‘I guess we have a tea business now,’” Salazar said. “Everything in the tea is what we grow.”
The OG, or original blend, is hibiscus, lemon grass and orange mint. They now sell about seven blends of loose-leaf herbal tea.
“As we grow more herbs, we will expand and have different blends,” Price said. “And as we go deeper into herbalism studies, we will learn more combinations that go well together.”
Though the two met when they both started working at Brown’s Farm about three years ago, Price and Salazar are a powerful team — as young, Black businesswomen and as good friends.
“Everytime I have a crazy idea, Dria comes up with a plan to make it happen,” Salazar said. “I’m the helium balloon.”
Price nods her head in understanding: “And I’m the string.”