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About Us


Our company is founded on the notion that we do best when we consider our own self-interests and the interests of the larger group. We believe we can do well by doing good and we want to ensure that our children and their children have a safe, clean and peaceful world in which to live. What we want for ourselves, we want for everyone. And, lest we sound too serious, we want to have a pile of fun along the way. We're doing our part and invite you to join us on this exciting adventure.

We're a women-owned Tucson, Arizona based small business. We're privately held and small by any standards - a well-oiled team of three owners run the company and bring you this great website and the fantastic products you see on this site.

We appreciate your visiting this site and shopping with us. If you have any questions about us or our business, drop us a line via email. We're happy to talk with you.


News, Press Releases & Updates



Our Core Values

We started shopOrganic because we are passionate about organics. We believe organic food and natural products are better for our bodies, better for our communities and better for the planet. We also understand that everyone comes to organics differently. Our mission is to enable people to discover, explore and embrace an organic lifestyle. We're here to support you in that journey by:

  • Offering only products that meet our standards and pass our rigorous selection process.

  • Supporting healthy living through providing high quality organic and eco-friendly products.

  • Creating positive and respectful relationships with customers, staff, vendors, suppliers and investors.

  • Developing and supporting a robust network of small, independent organic vendors committed to sustainable business practices.

  • Investing in our business, our staff and our community to create a sustainable future for us all.




Our Team

The team comes from a variety of complementary backgrounds. Our skills, experience and interests cover a wide range - but we're all committed to natural and organic products. We have expertise in the organic and natural foods business, as well as in start ups, e-commerce, technology, marketing, budgeting and financial planning, inventory and warehouse management, purchasing, customer service, search engine optimization, and, well, you get the picture. We love what we do and we've all been doing it for quite some time. This latest adventure is the best of all worlds for us - the blending of our experience and passion - and we're thrilled to be able to do what we love and share that with you.
  • Lisa Mainz, Founder
  • Susan Snedaker, Founder
  • Cara Silverstein, Founder
  • Philip Panya, Master Warehouser & Team Mate
  • Julie Perry, Business Development
  • Jeff Perry, Business Development

About Lisa
Lisa

In the past when people asked me where I was from I used to say “nowhere”. Now I say a little bit of “everywhere”. My dad was in the military and my mother is Swiss, so I grew up around the world. And because my parents never wanted to live on military bases, we were able to enjoy different cultures, nationally and internationally. Some of my most treasured times are of my adolescent years in Tripoli, Libya and my teenage years in Izmir, Turkey. Those experiences are the foundation of how I see the world, knowing that different cultures have different ways of living life but that we fundamentally all want the same thing - a happy, healthy life for ourselves and our loved ones. Simple stuff, really.

I've worked in the natural/organic food business for over twenty years, so it's fair to say I grew up in this business. I love working in this business because I believe so strongly that growing our food organically is what is best for us and the earth; a relationship that is sustainable, loving and healthy. Every time we bring in a new product line, every time we pack an order, every time we ship an order, I know we're helping people live healthier, cleaner, greener lives. Every time we get an order, I know that someone else is making a difference as well. Over the years, I've learned a lot from the people I've worked with in the natural and organic food industry. I'm really excited to have this opportunity to "grow" shopOrganic; to build this business from the ground up and hopefully make the world (and me) just a bit better in the process.

My Perspective
There is no such thing as a state of perfection...only perfect moments. It is up to me to recognize those moments…enjoy them and continue on.

Favorite Quotes
  • "It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'Try to be a little kinder.'" ~ Aldous Huxley

    "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Random Factoids
  • Learned to drink strong, sweet Turkish coffee while living in Izmir, Turkey. Now, decades later, I'm just coming down from that caffeine.

  • Love to go birding; it’s a kind of meditation for me. Walk, listen, look up, identify; walk, listen, look up, identify…you get the idea.

  • Kayaked next to a baby humpback whale once in Olympia, Washington. Life changing moment.

  • Was better than Donna Rooney at box hockey, but couldn't beat her in the 50 yard dash in 4th grade.

  • Prefer riding my motorcycle when temperatures are below 100.

  • Once trained and worked as a farrier (horseshoer), wasn't my best skill, but I still love horses.

  • Am known to many of my friends as "MacGyver" for my ability to fashion odd tools out of found scraps to get myself out of a jam.

Thanks for stopping by shopOrganic. We're proud of what we've accomplished and we welcome your comments.

Cheers, Lisa




About Susan
Susan
I was born and raised in New York, just outside of Manhattan. I loved the proximity to New York City - the museums, theatre, food and diverse cultures - for me, it was the best of both worlds. I've lived in Massachusetts, Vermont, California, New Mexico and Arizona. I settled in Tucson, AZ and found home. I love the desert, I especially love the heat. I don't know why, but I'm happiest in June when it's insanely hot (100+ degrees), dry and sunny day in and day out.

My background is in business and technology. I've worked for several large technology firms in the past and in recent years have consulted with companies on implementing technology solutions, especially in companies involved with health, wellness and natural foods. Starting this business was a perfect fit with my background, experience and interests and so far, it's been a fascinating and rewarding experience.

My Perspective
What I want for myself, I want for everyone. Life's more fun that way.

Favorite Quotes
  • "In the end, only kindness matters." - Jewel

  • "You never know when you're having good luck." - Ancient Tibetan quote, I think

  • "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Random Factoids
  • I was the goalie on my high school field hockey team. I was not very good, but then, neither was the rest of my team. What we lacked in skill, we made up for in high school attitude.

  • I hiked the Appalachian Trail with two friends. We met a lot of great people and one really huge, scary bear (no injuries, just a lot of adrenalin).

  • Went to the same high school as sportscaster Jimmy Roberts and football Hall of Famer Art Monk. I'm sure their websites say "Went to high school with entrepreneur Susan Snedaker...."

  • Study Shotokan karate and Kodokan judo.

  • Worked for Microsoft, never met Bill Gates. (Bill, there's still time - now that neither of us is with Microsoft anymore....call me).

  • Make a pretty tasty ciabatta thanks to a one week baking course at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley with world-renowned (and really nice guy) Chef Stephen Durfee.


Current faves on my iPod
  • Hozier
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Adele
  • Pat Metheny
  • Santana
  • Elle Henderson
  • Diana Krall
  • The Fray
  • Usher
  • Rob Thomas
  • vintage Bonnie Raitt
  • Sara Bareilles
  • Keith Jarrett - The Koln Concert

Thanks for stopping by shopOrganic. I hope you'll come back often and as always, contact me if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

Warm regards, Susan





About Cara
Cara
I grew up in New Jersey, halfway between the city that never sleeps and the city of brotherly love. Blessed to have a mom who loved to cook we always ate real food, not 'edible foodlike substances' as Michael Pollan describes much of what's in supermarkets these days. I think I was about 10 years old the first time I saw a Twinkie up close. I may have felt a bit deprived at the time but looking back, I'm so thankful for the foundation she gave me.

After college, I worked in Marketing and Advertising - during that time I was more formally introduced to the world of natural foods when I met a holistic nutritionist. She taught me so much in a short period of time and I was quickly purging my cupboards of hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, and refined flours. I started shopping at my small, local health food stores and becoming familiar with a whole world of new products.

From New Jersey, I moved to Atlanta, where I briefly entertained the notion of becoming a vegan personal chef (it never really got off the ground but I had a lot of fun testing recipes and I can make some incredible vegan homestyle foods). I spent time working in small local health food stores and was hooked.

I moved to Tucson on a gut feeling and I've been here for about 10 years, working for a natural foods distributor, and now with shopOrganic. I've always loved sharing my knowledge and excitement about new products with the customers of the small health food stores where I've worked. Being a key decision maker in product selection, that interest in what's new and exciting in the natural foods industry is still with me and its one of the things I like best about doing what I do at shopOrganic.

My Perspective
As Bill & Ted would say, 'Be Excellent To Each Other'.

Favorite Quote
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

Random Factoids

  • There's a Winnie the Pooh costume in my closet and it doesn't always stay in the closet.

  • Can eat fire.

  • Have the ability to turn a nearly empty fridge into a fantastic meal.

  • Travelled to 38 states, so far. It's time for a road trip to the northern central part of the country.

  • Really badly wanted to be Danny Zuko when I was a kid... "Go Greased Lightening!"


Currently listening to...
  • Calexico
  • MS MR
  • Neko Case
  • The Decemberists
  • Rufus Wainwright
  • Sade
  • Mumford and Sons
  • Travis

Current faves in my Pantry
  • Cadia Organic Garbanzo Beans
  • Coconut Secret Coconut Vinegar
  • Bariani Olive Oil
  • Organic Medjool Dates
  • Organic Raw Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Chia!

All the best, Cara




About Philip
Philip
From the shielded virtues of extended African family living in familial natural and social landscape of small town Karu, where I was born, to the cacophony and complexity of modern metro of the city of Jos, Plateau, where I came of age, a common thread permeated the rural and urban juxtaposition of my formative experiences: access to an abundant assortment of fresh organic produce and foods; family owned farms and backyard vegetable gardens; seasonal fresh fruits harvested ripe off the trees (I climbed a lot of mango, papaya, orange and guava trees as a kid.) However, in time, these traditional family based agrarian practices and customs gave way to big agro farming which catalyzed an influx of processed foods to feed an ever increasing acquired taste that had attained symbolic status of modern sophistication.

Discovering I was lactose intolerant on coming to the US, however, changed my attitude towards food. I was compelled to explore alternatives to milk and cheese substitutes in the fledgling local co-ops dotting the city of Eugene, Oregon, in the early 90s. I vividly remember my first experience of buying soymilk to complement my breakfast cereal and finding only two choices in a co-op, both of which had the look of dirty brown water with slimy texture consistency - I simply ate my cereal plain sometimes due to the inconsistency of these early soymilk variants. Henceforth, this process of food exploration afforded me an opportunity to witness the transformation of organic and natural food movement from a niche alternative lifestyle driven by principled choices into mainstay of American disposition induced by health concerns. I am now constantly amazed at the growing variety of soymilk offerings now available in the most conventional of supermarkets chains.

Thus far, my experience has ingrained in me a sense of discipline in observing how my body reacts to foods I ingest. In due course, I have discovered my body’s equilibrium is grounded in the natural and wholesome organic foods that constituted the imprint of my formative years. And as I continue to strive towards tuning my sensibilities to listen intently to my body, I have resolved to ensure the constitution of my food is high in organic and natural content. Working at shopOrganic puts me in an environment that helps me sustains that process and hence, my equilibrium.

Currently listening to...
  • Madeleine Peyroux
  • Melody Gardot
  • Koop
  • Jamiroquai
  • Ray LaMontagne
  • Seun Kuti
  • The National
  • AfroCubism
  • Gorrillaz
  • Bonobo
  • Jackie Greene
  • Pink Martini

My Perspective
Always be willing to readjust to new truths.

Favorite Quote
“One should eat to live, not live to eat.” -Moliere

Random Factoids
  • Foldable bikes thing (I like small wheels)
  • Can juggle three objects…..Weeee!!!
  • Light art Photography, especially fireworks
  • Travelled to 38 states, so far. It's time for a road trip to the northern central part of the country.
  • Star Wars all the way... "Kuna Kuna Hans Solo(?)"

Current faves in my Pantry
  • Eden Soba Noodles
  • Coco’mon Curry
  • Organic Roasted Pistachios
  • Organic Raw Pecan Seeds
  • Lydia's Kale Krunchies
  • Explore Asian Black Bean Spaghetti
Best of adventures. -Philip



About Julie
Julie

I grew up in a New Jersey suburb outside of Manhattan. My family home was filled with Entenmann’s crumb donuts, Cap’n Crunch Cereal, and all the Pepsi a girl could drink. Most nights we ate dinner at McDonald’s, Burger King or Roy Rogers. On the nights my mother did cook – it was burgers or steak…until she died of colon cancer at the age of 42. I was 18 and took a really hard look at what I had been eating and drinking and decided change was in order. No more red meat, no more soda…it took me longer to realize the Cap’n Crunch would have to go as well.

It’s been 30 years since that realization. I have come a long way, as has the food industry, but there is still so far to go. From making home made organic baby food, to searching for a loaf of bread that did not contain partially hydrogenated oil, I have tried to feed my family carefully and impart to my two boys how important it is to know where your food comes from and what is in it. shopOrganic gets all of this and I am very excited to be a part of the company. While my professional background is in finance and business, my heart is in health and wellness. The opportunity to merge these interests is awesome.

My Perspective:
Live and let live.

Favorite Quote:
“It was all very well to say “Drink me,” but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. “No, I’ll look first,” she said, “and see whether it’s marked poison or not”…She had never forgotten that if you drink very much from a bottle marked “poison” it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.”

Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Random Factoids:
  • I was a waterski instructor.
  • Still take flute lessons – I first learned when I was 8 years old.
  • When I start reading a book, I will obsessively read it until it is finished.
  • I would like to live in a tree.

Current Faves in the Pantry:
  • Raw Organic Nuts
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Hemp Seeds
Best, Julie
Julie

(All product names listed are registered trademarks of their respective companies).



About Jeff
Jeff

I was raised out in the arid flatlands of west Texas, a place called Odessa, in the heart of the oil patch where the favorite weekend pastime was watching high school football. In the 1970s, I grew up on the traditional Texas fare including chicken fried steak and BBQ. I had a very large appetite but never looked like a big eater as I was lanky and thin. Like many I would eat what was in front of me and found very few kinds of food that I didn’t like. For the most part my way of evaluating was simply based on taste, without really considering the effect that diet would have on my health and my life. Back then there wasn’t any reliable way to measure those effects anyway. I was active and had a diligent work out routine, and people saw me as healthy and in shape. A great metabolism helped me out I’m sure but I always thought I was living healthy. I continued this path for a long time cutting back on beef, eating more fish and chicken and eliminating many sweet drinks and soft drinks as the years went by. But with age comes wisdom, and I found that I was simply following the crowd without truly understanding. During the last few years I have become strongly interested in understanding the source of food, its eco-system and the secrets to sustainability and how food gets from the farm to my table. I have investigated and read much to learn all I could and what I found shocked me. I now realize how much I was missing and that many of my perceptions were in fact misconceptions about what I had been putting into my body. I made the decision to actively manage my “food life” instead of crossing my fingers, oblivious to what was actually contained in the food I was eating. Now I am experiencing the benefits of these changes, benefits that mirror what shopOrganic brings to its customers.

My Perspective
The more you give, the more you receive.

Favorite Quotes
I would not give a fig for simplicity this side of complexity but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity. – Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

Expect the best and you will get the best. - Norman Vincent Peale

Being happy is merely a choice but the lessons of happiness must be worked into the heart of your life to make happiness a habit and for unhappiness to feel foreign” – Dan Baker, PhD

Random Factoids
  • I still play basketball and am always the oldest one on the court, by a long shot.
  • I co-invented two patented golf club products that might make those with a sense of tradition scratch their heads.
  • About 20 years ago while talking about the best type of pens to use for autographs on a nationally broadcast sports collectibles radio program I co-hosted, I received a huge box containing over 100 Sharpie pens that I doubt I can use up in my lifetime.
  • On the ski slopes, I’m only faster than my wife when we are going uphill.
Best, Jeff

Jeff



About Our Name


We do business as shopOrganic.com, but the formal name of our adventure is Border & Black Ventures. We chose this name for the best of reasons - two of them really - our dogs. One's a Border Collie named Jackie Brown. The other is a regular ole lovable black dog named Rosie. Together, they are Border & Black and they embody the qualities we admire - smart, agile, affable, lovable and always in a good mood. We bring them to the office once or twice a week where they bark at falling palm fronds or scampering lizards. Mostly they sleep in the conference room and await samples of organic dog treats.




We encourage you to sign up for our email list. Subscribers will receive occasional coupons for discounts as well as helpful news, interesting information and other content that will amuse, inspire and educate you about the world in which we live.

We're located in the amazingly beautiful Sonoran desert in Tucson, Arizona. More specifically, we're located in a wonderful business park, nestled between a solar company and a global warming research company at 3450 S. Broadmont Drive, Suite 114, Tucson, Arizona 85713. (We're not a retail location but you can order online and pick up locally if you'd like. Please read our Customer Service information for more on that). Need to get a hold of us? We're an email or call away. If you want to reach us by phone, give us a jingle during standard business hours at 520.792.0804. Press 1 for customer service and we'll be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you may have.

Sincerely,
Lisa, Susan & the shopOrganic Team

"If corporations were to analyze their prospects for social responsibility using the same framework that guide their core business choices, they would discover the corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be much more than a cost, a constraint, or a charitable deed - it can be a source of opportunity, innovation, and competitive advantage."

Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, "Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility" Harvard Business Review, December 2006.

Want to see pictures of our office and warehouse? Click here.

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