A local couple’s solution to a problem launches their new company
Jennifer and Christoper Davis are hard at work in a commercial kitchen, but their products won’t end up on your dining table or in your pantry. Instead, the Davises are crafting skin-care products with cannabidiol (CBD) for their new company, EVO Botanicals.
“That was really our COVID project: the R&D and perfection of these products,” Christopher said.
The Davises’ Baileys Harbor business started as an effort to solve a problem. A friend had given Christopher some CBD cream to help his lower-back pain. Christopher thought it helped, and when he couldn’t find the product anymore, he and Jennifer decided to make their own.
“I could learn how to do that” is a phrase Jennifer recalled saying that launched their company.
To get started, the Davises needed CBD, or hemp that could be refined into CBD. In what seems to be a fortuitous coincidence, Door Karma Farms – where the Davises already bought groceries – had recently harvested a crop of organic hemp. The Davises bought the crop, found a Wisconsin processor to refine it, and got to work.
It took about nine months of research and development to create EVO Botanicals Recovery Cream, which includes CBD and Jennifer’s homemade arnica oil as the primary ingredients. The couple started sharing the product with family and friends and selling it online.
“We’re just surprised at how well it works,” Jennifer said, “and that all of that trial and error paid off, and we made a really successful product that people like.”
Jennifer said her new understanding of CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits made her curious about other applications.
“I did more research and found that it was, in fact, really beneficial for the skin,” she said.
With a lot more research and consultation with cosmetic chemists, EVO Botanicals added skin-care products – a facial lotion, eye serum and facial mask – to its line. The company also makes roll-on formulas for headache relief and stress relief, and two oral formulas: Relieve and Sleep.
The CBD isolate in EVO Botanicals products is the result of two additional refining processes after the hemp is processed initially. The extra steps and testing are part of the couple’s goal to create a “very transparent and honest company” in an emerging industry.
“Even though [CBD] is legal, there’s very little regulation,” Christopher said. “We find that more time and more effort create a much higher-quality product.”
The commitment to quality is why the Davises continue to make the product here, themselves, rather than contracting it out. The fact that EVO Botanicals products are made in Wisconsin from Wisconsin hemp is also key to the brand.
“It’s incredibly important to us,” Christopher said, “and I think it’s very important to our customer base as well. I think our customer base is also very concerned with a farm-to-table-style product. It’s important to us, and I think it raises awareness in our customers.”
EVO Botanicals currently sells its products at local retailers including Main Street Market, Seaquist Orchards Farm Market, Door County Cherry Hut and Saguaro Day Spa.
The Davises are now focused on expanding the company’s reach into other Wisconsin markets, and as it grows, the couple hopes its success can help other Door County locals.
“What we would like to do as we grow EVO is hire people and provide them with year-round employment that is a living wage for Door County,” Christopher said.