The Chinese character for “forest” is a little pyramid formed by three of the characters that mean “tree.” Jenny Eu chose this name for her company as a tribute to her grandmother.
“Growing up in Taiwan, I went hiking with my grandmother who lived near forested mountains,” Jenny recalls. “She would pick the edible parts of plants and brew soothing teas with them. I learned about the health benefits of various roots, leaves, and seeds, and I marveled at the delicious taste of each one. That is where my love for natural, plant-based foods began.”
After studying economics and industrial engineering at Stanford University, Jenny worked as a management consultant. But she had always been passionate about food.
Eventually, her entrepreneurial sprit, creative instincts and lessons from her grandmother came to the fore. “I knew I wanted to create a plant-based product that was nutritious and good for you. I wanted to give people an attractive, tasty, plant-based milk alternative. So I began to experiment with nut milks.”
Not satisfied with the almond milks on the market, which contain only 1-2% almonds, Jenny decided that Three Trees Almond Milk would be 100% clean, pure, and creamy, the thickness created by lots of almonds. Unlike a lot of nut milks that contain gums, “[Three Trees] uses a lot of almonds in order to achieve a rich smooth texture without using stabilizers or thickeners. When people taste the product, they immediately taste the difference.”
“Almonds are a high-value product. We were aware of the water issue that almonds growers have to contend with, but we also knew that many animal products actually consume much more water when animal feed is factored in.”
“All our formulations have been done in-house, by trying different things, and choosing the best. In our experimental stage, we also made cashew and pistachio milks. They were very popular, but we decided to start with a focus on almond milk and then maybe bring back the others later on.”
“Almonds, and nuts in general, are one of nature's purest forms of energy. The beneficial nutrients in almonds include heart-healthy fatty acids, micronutrients, and protein. Our almond milks naturally taste indulgent, and are truly healthful at the same time, providing delicious, clean energy.”
Jenny points out that while everyone can benefit from the healthy attributes of almonds, some with particular health challenges are helped by specific attributes of the nut. Since almond milk is a plant-based beverage, there are no lactose issues. People with certain cancers can enjoy Three Trees Almond Milks because they contain no stabilizers or thickeners. For those who need a high-calorie diet with dense nutrition, Three Trees provides heart-healthy fats.
“Consumer feedback is very encouraging. People are so enthusiastic about having a delicious beverage that is so good for them. We love being asked, ‘When is Three Trees going to be sold in our town?’ The connection with customer is very valuable to us.”