Adam McBride and Molly Jones moved to Costa Rica after falling in love the summer of 1999. Adam chose Costa Rica because of the waves and laid-back lifestyle, Molly for her love of nature and organic living. They became “The McBrides” soon thereafter.
Located in the tropical paradise of Costa Rica, Raw Botanicals was established in the sleepy coastal town of Manuel Antonio in 1999. Initially called just “Raw” Molly began creating all of the products to match a raw food diet and organic lifestyle. What began as a small line of handmade products for Spa Uno the area’s first organic day spa, over time, expanded to become a full line of handmade organic lotions, facial products and other gift items.
Building on the success realized through Spa Uno, we opened up our first store and laboratory in downtown Quepos, Costa Rica. The shop soon became a popular destination as both a charming retail gift shop, and a working factory where visitors could watch all of our special organic formulations being fresh made!
Our organic products soon spread to fine resorts and gift shops throughout Costa Rica, paying careful attention in producing earth-friendly biodegradable and sustainable bath and beauty products. We’re proud to say our products can now be found worldwide.
An Eye Opening Challenge
As Raw Botanicals continued to grow, Adam and Molly were approached by a hotel owner asking them to make some organic amenities for his hotel (think soap, shampoo, and conditioner). Always up for a challenge, Adam and Molly soon discovered, with horror, what was taking place in the hotel industry in the supposedly “green” Costa Rica. Hotels were buying tiny plastic bottles of bathroom amenities for their guests. And after their use, the bottles were simply thrown away.
It wasn’t hard to do the math: a 150 room hotel could expect to use 400 or more of these bottles every day. That’s over 150,000 bottles every year, in just one hotel! And, Costa Rica has almost 1,000 hotels. The waste was staggering.
So Adam and Molly set out to change things. They began offering dispensers to hotels that could be placed in the bathrooms and refilled again and again. Initially, hotels were very slow to accept this new way of doing things.”Clients love the small bottles” was a typical response from hotel management. But slowly eco-resorts began catching on to the fact that clients, once educated, LOVED the idea of refillable dispensers. It went along with the very reason people visit Costa Rica, plus it just made sense!
Now, hotels throughout Costa Rica use this refill method as a way to not only save money but protect the environment.
A Movement Is Born
With the success of refilling in hotels, Adam and Molly wanted to apply this concept to a wider audience – in Costa Rica and beyond.