"Big things have small beginnings..."
Everything started with a few sips, an amazing feeling, and a lot of love...
In October 2014, Erva's founder, Elliott Counts, tried yerba mate for the first time. "Everything was in full vibrancy. The sun was a bit brighter, and I felt just a whole lot lighter."
Two months prior, in August 2014, Elliott was in need of a new home in Austin, Texas. He found an ideal little house in the Clarksville neighborhood, where Whole Foods Market originally planted its roots, with a couple of wonderful roommates. The home was blessed with a kitchen not commonly found in a rental home. Plenty of space to move around, lots of light, hardwood floors, and... a commercial, 6-burner stove. He found an unused 15-gallon crawfish pot listed online by a young couple that had recently received it as a well-intended, but slightly misguided wedding present a few months earlier.
Elliott continued brewing in his home kitchen for several months, picking up local accounts such as Quickie Pickie and In.gredients. He worked tirelessly learning the ins and outs of both producing the tea and figuring out how to sell it. Four months into Erva's conception, Wheatsville Co-Op reached out with interest in carrying Erva, but only if it was produced in a commercial kitchen. Elliott grabbed his crawfish pot and headed to Trinity Hall, in the heart of downtown Austin. He kept hand-rolling labels and delivering cases out of his car as Erva kept growing, and growing...
The time came where small batches could no longer keep up with Erva's rising demand. Contracts were signed with food distributors, such as Farm to Table, UNFI, and Kehe. Erva appeared on UT campus and many local grocers and vendors. Expansion moved past Austin, gaining regional recognition. When Central Market began carrying Erva in all 9 of its stores, another shift was here. Brewing moved from the trusted crawfish pot to a 300 gallon steam kettle. Bottles went from plastic to glass, and labels no longer had to be hand-rolled one by one. As the process became less labor intensive, Elliott had more time to evangelize Erva's mission.