Family Brews Up Bush Tea As Healthy Alternative


Shavaughn Sturrup


Tribune Features Reporter


Growing up, Shavaughn Sturrup got to enjoy home-made Bahamian bush teas like soursop and fever grass, brewed for him by his parents and grandparents.

It was such a significant part of his childhood that he is now carrying on the tradition with his kids.

“My son calls it ‘leaf tea’,” he told Tribune Health.

His whole family is now a fan of these natural beverages.

“My wife also took a holistic approach to her health a few years ago. She changed her eating habits, removed soda and artificial drinks from her diet. I have witnessed the power of plants, fruits, and vegetables and how they heal and strengthen the body,” said Mr Sturrup.

The family has now launched their Fresh Sip Teas & Juices venture, through which they are offering natural fruit juices and organic teas with no artificial flavours, food colouring or preservatives. The team’s mission is to provide Bahamians with healthier alternatives to sugary and carbonated drinks.

“I have worked in the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years and love bringing flavours together, resulting in exciting combinations,” said Mr Sturrup.

“What I like about being an entrepreneur is the person I had to become during the process. As you grow a business, you are challenged to grow mentally, be resourceful, and develop a knack for skills you may not have had before.”

Among their most popular offerings are the pineapple ginger and turmeric juice blends, he said. Mr Sturrup said he considers this option an excellent immune system booster.

Their ‘Special Blend’ menu option is a recipe from Mr Sturrup’s father, and includes love vine, Sweet Margaret (wild guava(, five fingers, ginger root, and leaves from other native bushes.

“One of the reasons we use ginger root in so many of our products is its beneficial properties. Our parents would use it to relieve arthritic pain, treat sore throats, colds, migraines, and more. Research shows pineapple is effective at fighting colds, suppressing inflammation, and is filled with antioxidants. One of my favourites is turmeric. Turmeric has been used for centuries by Indians for both beauty and medicinal purposes,” he explained.

“So many Bahamians suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and other illnesses. Often, they are a result of unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle choices. I’ve found that managing a healthier lifestyle could result in a better quality of life by lowering your sugar, blood pressure, and (impact) other ailments. Wellness is integral and crucial as it is a mindset that affects your emotion and broader well-being.”

To remain innovative in their approach to running Fresh Sip Teas & Juices, he said he team has been taking advantage of the lockdown periods by engaging in online training courses, planning, and networking with others in the field.

Because the safety of their customers is important to them, Mr Sturrup said the company is currently offering delivery services.

“We have two exciting Christmas beverages that will be introduced pretty soon. They are festive, and every member of the family will enjoy them. We realise there is a need more than ever to support our bodies and immunity. We will be introducing a line of beverages with ‘superfoods', or adaptogens, to help in your wellness journey and combat the cold and flu season,” said Mr Sturrup.


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