Val Clarke, Founder and day-to-day owner and operator of Clarke’s Tea, has always felt the need to do things differently, stepping into her unique gifts and personality. By creating these beautiful products and making them available to others, she’s found her niche and true passion, responding to her heart’s calling and doing what she does best – innovation!
Born and raised in Hamilton Ontario,
Val grew up with strong Caribbean roots, learning to work hard and enjoy life. After years of dedicated studies in Business Marketing and Strategic Management,
she launched her career in Software.
That didn’t last very long however. She soon landed a job in the Financial Industry where she’s flourished for the last 20 years. Over the last two decades, she’s relentlessly worked her way up the ladder, moving from Coordinator all the way to Director. Her work has included data analysis to evaluate business performances, engaging with clients to implement changes that allow them to align with their vision, and creating corporate initiatives and strategic planning. She’s strived on finding inventive and forward-thinking way to enhance client experience.
Her days were filled with long hours and dedication to her work. She found herself constantly on the go, juggling all sorts of projects and taking care of my family. Her meals often consisted of protein shakes and fancy lattes that she tried to balance out with healthy evening meals shared with her husband and son.
In her late 30s, Val went for a routine check-up where blood tests revealed she had Monoclonal Gammopathy of Unknown Significance. A mouthful, right? MGUS is a condition in which an abnormal protein is formed in the blood. This protein is made in the bone marrow from plasma cells (a form of white blood cells). With this condition comes a slightly increased risk of blood or bone marrow diseases including cancer.
Though this diagnosis didn’t have a direct impact on her hectic lifestyle, it gave her moment to pause. She leaned into self-reflection and like a wake-up call, realised she could be doing more to care for her health and wellness.
A few years later, came her second wake-up call. After struggling with her digestive system, she was diagnosed with Crohn’s, an inflammatory bowel disease. This pushed her to find more sustainable and healthy ways of nourishing herself, both physically and mentally. Through trial and error and lots of exploration, she found tea! The relationship was almost instantaneous. As soon as she integrated certain teas into her daily routine, she immediately began to feel better. Val got curious, playing around with different kinds of infusions, and soon enough she noticed that some varieties helped with her energy, others with her digestion, and others still with easing inflammation. Almost all of the teas she tried had some kind of positive impact on her wellbeing.
Val felt nurtured and sustained in so many ways, discovering how good it also was for her mental health! She loved taking the time to slow down for a few moments in her busy day and enjoy the comfort of a cup or two of tea. Even now, brewing the perfect cup provides her with a glimpse of peace and calm, like a mini-meditation each and every day.
From that moment forward, she dove in head first, spending almost all of my free time researching the effects of herbs and plants, and then testing them on herself. The more information she gathered, the more captivated Val became with one particular kind of tea… vegetable-based ones! Their list of potential benefits surpassed anything else she’d seen, yet it was so hard to actually get her hands on them. Though she searched high and low, contacting stores after store, they just weren’t readily available.
A passionate flame was lit, and the idea of creating her own line of Veggie Teas was born! Today, Val is proud and excited to share Clarke’s Tea with you.