The Inspiration

From cancer….

For 10 years before embarking on the hemp foods adventure, Tonia Farman started and ran a nonprofit — Project Koru — that helped young adults get their lives back after cancer. She was a pioneer in developing experiential programming to help address the psychosocial effects of cancer to improve quality of life.

She won Self Magazine’s Woman of the Year award and Livestrong’s Young Adult Cancer Survivorship award for her work. After 12 years she witnessed an ongoing challenge with the people Project Koru served.

Camp Koru

…. to curiosity.

The more she worked with cancer survivors, the more she recognized roadblocks that kept coming up during and after battling their disease: a broken food system and a failed healthcare system. In her research to seek out functional foods that were as healthy for the environment as for our health, she kept running into the many beneficial properties of nutritional hemp. In fact, her only experience with hemp was the bag of hemp hearts in her pantry. This is what inspired Tonia to learn more.

Pickle Truck

Inspiration from the Pickle King.

When coming up with a name, we looked to our roots. Tonia’s grandfather was the Pickle King of the Pacific Northwest, working with farmers from the Skagit Valley in Northwest Washington State to the Willamette Valley in Oregon to grow cucumbers for the family pickle business. As a producer, Grandpa Farman had family-like relationships with growers, inviting them to family reunions, pickle parties and holidays. 

So when we decided to bring hemp hearts (the yummy, nutritious core of the hemp seed) to market…. it only seemed natural to carry on the legacy of working with, and supporting, American farmers to do so. Just this time, we thought it was time for a Queen. And so Queen of Hearts began.



Tonia - the Queen