The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) honored one of its founding members, Barry Meltzer, who passed away on August 22, 2013. Barry was the co-owner of San Francisco Natural Herb & Food Company and had been active in the herbal and natural products industry as a supplier of bulk raw materials including herbs, spices and teas since the 1970s. He touched the lives of many of those who began and remain active in the industry since those early days.
"Barry always had a camera in his hand, chronicling in black and white those early days of the industry … a time when hippies, Mormons, Appalachian fur traders/root gatherers, rowdy women from Boulder, Texas cowboys, organic farmers and New York traders would gather together to envision the future", said Drake Sadler, cofounder of AHPA member Traditional Medicinals. "How fortunate we were to pass this time with such a gentle man, pioneering brother, father and husband. He knew our work with plants was noble and I am grateful to have shared this sacred journey with him."
Mark Blumenthal, with the American Botanical Council, another original AHPA founder, said, "Barry was a very gentle man, and a gentleman. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and made hundreds of friends throughout the herbal community, in the United States as well as internationally."
San Francisco Herb & Natural Food Company has been in business for over 40 years, and its Nature's Herb Company product line of botanicals is celebrating its 94th anniversary this year.
"Barry was an herb world pioneer and never lost the close personal brother-hood, sister-hood feelings we shared with each other from the early days," said Lynda LeMole, former president of AHPA. "He was a wise and wonderful friend to so many of us, and a true pioneer in our herb world."
"Barry was an active participant in the founding of AHPA in 1982," noted Michael McGuffin, AHPA's president. "But more than an industry leader and advocate, he was also a good friend, and his smile and humor will be missed."
Barry is survived by his wife Kristi, his daughter Sky, and son, Eli.