Delivery Area: Choose Delivery Area

Article previously printed in My Domaine.

Before Jewel Zimmer founded Juna, a boutique cannabis company based in northern California, she was a fine dining pastry chef working in the kitchens of renowned restaurants such as La Folie in San Fransisco and CityZen in Washington, D.C. While the transition from a pastry chef to an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry might seem like a surprising one, it’s her background in the kitchen that helps set her inspired line of tinctures apart from the other CBD and THC products on the shelf. 

Read on to learn more about how the founder of Juna made the transition from being a fine dining pastry chef to founding a farm-to-table cannabis company. 

 

Tell us about your first career path?

I am by “trade” a fine dining pastry chef. I moved to San Francisco in 1998 barely legal age via a job offer at La Folie straight out of culinary school. It was the dot com boom and chefs were being looked at in a way that they had never been before – like celebrities almost.

My first few months of working there I had cooked for Ruth Reichl (editor at Gourmet) the New York times and I made a birthday for Julia Child. My introduction to the world of fine dining helped shape the way I thought not only food but everything I involved myself in  — with immense sensitivity and nuance. 

In 2009, I left the restaurant world and  launched a chocolate collection called {cocoa} absolute. Absolute, because I extracted the purest form of Cacoa’s botanical actives  and then infused them back into the chocolate. This included Cacoa’s naturally occurring mood enhancers, polyphenol antioxidants and anandimiande – the feel good or Sanskrit translation “bliss” molecule found in chocolate that gives the feeling of euphoria.

Coincidentally, I have come to find out that anandimide is also a  cannabinoid our bodies produce naturally. I had a cult following and sold from here to Japan at small boutiques and larger outlets such as Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and Dean and Deluca. {cocoa} absolute was one of the first foods to enter into the beauty/adaptogen category.

Tell us about your current career path/business? 

I am the founder and formulator of Juna, a cannabis and hemp company based in San Francisco CA that optimize pleasure – physically, spiritually + gastronomically.

It’s very much a continuation of what I was doing with chocolate – extracting all of the benefits and botanical actives from the plant and creating approachable formulas for people to micro dose with in the form of “drops” or, sublingual tincture.  The amazing thing about using cannabis is that whether you take it for wellness or pleasure you get the benefits of both.

Because of my culinary background I understand the power of source, its paramount.  Any, and all good product starts with the raw ingredients and  we essentially become partners of sorts with nature, farmers, and science.  Living in northern California is fortuitous as we have access to some of the best sungrown cannabis flower in the world. 

What triggered your need for change from the food world to the cannabis world? 

The universe constantly sending the local cannabis community my way asking me to infuse cannabis into chocolate for them. I always said no until my husband reminded me to recognize how many times this opportunity had presented itself and asked why I was so adverse.

The truth was that I wasn’t adverse at all, I just didn’t have a connection to the plant. As soon as I honored the plant and the potential opportunities a portal opened, the conversation pivoted I was talking with chemists, doctors, neuroscientists, farmers and learning so much about this plant.

 

 

It was actually emotional for me, I was humbled by its intelligence and sophistication –  I literally fell in love with the plant. I thought to myself,  if I don’t know how amazing and powerful this plant is, how many of my friends and contemporaries don’t know?

And then, Juna was born; it became my purpose to introduce this plant from a wellness, beauty, and food perspective. When I think back on my carreer every step I took led me to this plant and this moment. It’s a true love story.

Shop

  • Juna Drops

    $58$64