Wunder Workshop: embracing the miracles of nature.
“Our passion lies in the healing power of plants.”
The story of Wunder Workshop - a London based functional food brand making organic and ethically sourced turmeric-based products - began in 2014 by Tom and Zoe Lind van’t Hof. A company that was inspired by Zoe’s late mother, who has been deeply passionate about health and well-being and dedicated her career to being a holistic therapist and naturopath. For Zoe, this meant growing up surrounded by organic and locally produced food, books about traditional medicine, Ayurvedic health retreats in Sri Lanka and learning to make all kinds of natural remedies from a young age.
So does Zoe tell, “After dabbling in different career paths, from politics to interior design, I realized that my true purpose lay in what was around me all my life: health and plants. This was when I decided to go back to Sri Lanka and find an organic farm that uses sustainable and ethical farming techniques with whom I could work together to bring some of their incredible plant knowledge in the form of herbs and spices back to London. And started Wunder Workshop – focusing on ‘consumption with purpose’, by harvesting the power of plants for the ultimate wellness ritual.”
Miracles of nature
Wunder Workshop did not get its name by accident. Wunder means miracle and represents those plants with exceptional qualities. An example of this is the Cannabis plant. “When my late mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2014, she was taking cannabis oil that helped her tremendously for pain and gave her a much-needed appetite. After she passed away in 2016, I was still so impressed with the benefits from the Cannabis plant that we decided to combine it with the effects of turmeric and other medicinal plants, and so launched the first Turmeric CBD oil in 2016.”
CBD is known for its calming effects and pain relief. The CBD products by Wunder Workshop can address the needs for anxiety and stress relief, sleep, and women’s health, and for good reason. According to Zoe, “CBD works with our endocannabinoid system, which has functions in various parts of the body and works within a network of complex pathways in our body. It also works on several receptor-independent pathways that stimulate feelings of contentment. For example, it has been shown to decrease the reuptake of the feel-good hormone serotonin, increasing the effects of this neurotransmitter in the brain – hence the categorization for sleep, anxiety, and stress. Plus, it affects vanilloid receptors (TRPV1) which are associated with our perception of pain. Through personal experience and from reviews of many of our customers, CBD was able to relieve the pain associated with menstrual cramps, which has been of huge benefit and why it is categorized in the women’s health section too.” In addition to CBD products, the formulation also contains potent extracts of other natural ingredients such as turmeric, black pepper, and olive oil. Although CBD is a powerful ingredient in combating pain, Zoe and Tom were eager to get to the root cause of pain, which is often inflammation, so they combined their blends with a potent turmeric extract for a dual-targeting effect.
Packaging is key to deliver our promise
At Wunder Workshop, extensive time and efforts have been invested in the sourcing of natural ingredients for their latest blend. By taking on a greater role in the production process, Zoe and Tom have been harvesting orange leaves themselves to be used in the re-launch of their CBD oils. They only faced one hiccup with this particular range: “the biggest challenge is potency and consistency – these are powerful extracts which need to be protected as they can lose their effects quickly. We work with MIRON to ensure that what is inside stays protected and purposeful.”
A full circle approach
Trust and transparency are some of the strong values associated with Wunder Workshop, which is evident in the level of consideration invested in the brand. Everything carries a story, from where it was grown, who farmed it and processed it, including how it was packed. The full circle approach of Zoe and Tom goes back to their ethos – that it is essential to consider every element of the supply chain, from soil to consumer. “Especially since pesticide-free and non-mono-cultural farming is hugely important for combating climate change, creating soil health, biodiversity, and future food security. Sanskrit scripts from 4,000 years ago already said that if our soil is dead, we will also not survive. Farming in the most eco-friendly way possible is essential to sequester carbon and create nutritious food for all living beings. For us, we cannot sell health products without putting the health of the planet in the forefront of our sourcing.”
This also means that Wunder Workshop is looking for packaging with purpose: believing in having a positive impact without leaving a negative trace. “Our priorities when sourcing packaging is to see how it protects the ingredients, how environmentally friendly it is, how easily it can be recycled, and of course the aesthetics.Fortunately, glass is an infinitely recyclable source of material, and the fact that they are beautiful, and sturdy also means that they can be reused many times at home. Recycling should really always be the second option.” Says Zoe.