The Pukka Beginnings
14th May 2014
Pukka started life in the year 2001 as a simple idea: connect people with the incredible wonders of herbs. But an idea is just an idea until it is realised. Fortunately, this idea manifested thanks to an advert in a Bristol cultural magazine placed by Tim Westwell, a creative entrepreneur with a passion for natural health.
The ad ran for two weeks – with only one response, from an enthusiastic young herbalist called Sebastian Pole.
The Pukka idea
Sebastian has been fascinated with plants, conservation, and herbalism for many years, and when he saw Tim’s advert offering help to start-up ethical businesses, he’d already decided that he wanted to work for himself championing the amazing power of herbs and bringing their magic into more people’s lives.
Having tried many herbal teas, and fed up with a mouthful of dusty flavourings, Sebastian’s big idea was to give people a delicious cup of herbal tea that symbolised everything he believed in.
This wasn’t going to be just any cup of herbal tea, mind you – Sebastian wanted to create an incredible cup of herbal tea that supported people’s health, promoted conservation, and showed off the true brilliance of herbs.
And it didn’t stop with tea. Sebastian wanted the brilliance of herbs to be at the heart of effective herbal solutions too. He wanted to create amazing syrups, delicious Aloe vera juices, as well as incredible herbal supplements that would work wonders for people and the planet.
He just needed a good dose of business talent to bring this vision to life: Tim was the answer.
A meeting of minds
Not only did Tim have 10 years’ experience as a business change consultant, he also had a genuine passion for the power of herbs, nutrition and therapy – and, perhaps more crucially, a burning desire to make a positive change in the
From the first moment Tim and Sebastian met, they were the perfect match. Although they had a completely different set of skills, they shared a common thread of values and mutual trust.
They spent hours in Tim’s Bristol flat plotting the path ahead, working evenings and weekends trying to turn their vision of a business centred around the holistic principles of Ayurveda, into a real business. But one with a big difference; where the profits served a purpose.
Once the vision and the values of their fledgling business had been established, they just needed one more thing: a name.
After some hilarious non-starters (such as ‘Holy Cow’), the name Tim and Sebastian settled on was ‘Pukka Herbs’.
In Hindi, pukka means ‘real, authentic or genuine’ – it embodied everything that Tim and Sebastian wanted their business to be; it also sounded positive and felt ripe, juicy, tasty and delicious to say.
They officially christened their new company, Pukka Herbs towards the end of 2001. And the rest, as they say, is history (still in the making).