Josh and Tomo met in 2009 while studying massage in Maui beneath the waving palm trees. Both foodies at heart, the pair turned their attention to experimenting with new flavors and studying food culture.
On a fateful trip to Japan to visit family, Josh and Tomo tasted a delicious blueberry vinegar drink made by Tomo’s mother. The beverage combined the sweetness of berries and the sourness of vinegar to create the most refreshing, balanced beverage they could imagine. Inspired, they returned to Maui and began making their own shrub. With encouragement from mixologists and distillers, the couple started Maui Shrub Farm in 2016.
In 2017, their Northwest roots drew them back to Bellingham, Washington, where they began Cascade Shrub Farm. Today, the two branches have merged to become the one-and-only Shrub Farm. Shrub Farm has created seven unique delicious flavors of shrub by partnering with organic farms in Washington State and Maui, Hawaii.
In 2019, motivated by the land and sea they love, Josh and Tomo started a new company, Apple State Vinegar with a mission to give 6% of all profits back to marine wildlife. Apple State Vinegar is a raw apple cider vinegar made from 100% organic Washington State apples.
Josh and Tomo want their children and grandchildren to have more whales and wildlife in the ocean than there are now. They have teamed up with 1% for the Planet, an environmental philanthropy initiative from Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard. They are committed to donating 1% of gross sales to environmental organizations and dedicated to supporting education, research, and clean-up efforts that create thriving ecosystems and sustainable development with the belief that human prosperity can coexist with conservation goals.
Josh hails from the seaport of Bellingham, Washington. He’s an explorer, hitchhiker, mountain man, builder, gardener, crafter, and dad. He enjoys being outdoors, walking, biking, skateboarding, snowboarding, and camping with family. He loves being creative in the kitchen — making cool cocktails, fresh salads, roasted meats and veggies, and decadent desserts. Josh is excited to keep moving the brand forward with their mission of giving back to the planet.
Tomo was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan. She is nationally certified as a chef in Japan. She’s done Thai massage work and teacher training, and she loves giving people peace through her relaxing massages. She has an alcohol allergy so shrub is the best drink option for her free-spirited lifestyle. Tomo’s favorite is mixing shrub with herbal iced tea. She loves being between mountains and the ocean in nature!