We are an Asheville, NC based craft essential oil distillery that specializes in Western North Carolina native species and other oils uncommon on the market. We are a young company that started in March, 2015 with a modest $5,000 crowdfunding campaign.
We hand-distill beautiful essential oils and hydrosols in our custom-built (and 90% recycled material) stainless steel distillation unit. Our plant material is sustainably harvested from local national forests and our organic farm in a remote densely-forested valley of the Southern Appalachians. Additionally, we source “waste” plant material from local businesses for distillation, such as juiced fresh organic ginger pulp and Christmas Tree trimmings slated for incineration.
Our essential oils are 100% pure. We will never dilute or adulterate our oils in any way unless specifically stated as a blended oil! Our wild-crafted and organic essential oils are therapeutic grade. Currently, we offer pure, single-source, small-batch essential oils for sale on this website and in stores.
Ian Montgomery is the founder/owner of Blue Ridge Aromatics. He takes care of the company’s day to day operations including: sourcing and production, systems building/improvement and order fulfillment. Ian holds an MBA with a concentration in Sustainable Enterprise and has a diverse background that includes horticulture, small and start-up enterprise consulting and equipment and systems maintenance/repair. He has lived and worked in a range of places from Ocracoke Island in the NC Outer Banks to the San Francisco Bay Area but feels most at home in the loving embrace of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains.
Our Forest Farm is also a valued character in this story! 45 minutes north of Asheville in Madison County, NC our farm is a cove along the beautiful Big Laurel Creek valley. This is one of the least developed areas in Western North Carolina and the forest’s biodiversity is stunning! Starting at 2500′ elevation and going up an un-developed cove to 3200′, our 45 acre farm is it’s own watershed with several springs throughout the property.
A privileged farm it is! We are committed to following organic growing practices, invasive species control and healthy forest and soil management in cooperation with the USDA and USNFS. In-line with our sustainability policies, all harvests are conducted in a manner that ensures the longevity and further propagation of populations of native species. This means healthy pruning of large populations and transplanting/seed-spreading of smaller populations.
People often ask how Ian got into distilling essential oils.
Ian was introduced to essential oils by a dear friend in the early 2000’s and developed a fascination for the incredible concentration of these plant aromas. With a love for plants and a business degree, he later found himself growing plants commercially but most interested in native plants. Ready to return to the WNC Mountains, which has a strong natural healing community, Ian began researching essential oil distillation and a business plan was born!
With the support of business school colleagues, a few crucial business and industry advisors, old friends and new local supporters, Ian launched an Indiegogo campaign in March, 2015 and raised just over $5,000 to build a distillation plant. The first year was a bit touch and go with crowdfunding perks delivered quite late and all production happening in Ian’s basement. The learning curve was steep but each distillation provided valuable lessons for adapting the design and/or process.
Now, with more than 21 different species distilled, 45 distillations completed and hundreds of sales under our belt, we’re more confident than ever that we have achieved proof of concept and we’re excited to be on the forefront of an artisan essential oil distiller movement that is changing the essential oil industry from the bottom-up!