At Baker Creek, our passion is Saving, Growing, and Sharing rare seeds! Our mission is to provide seeds of a sustainable food supply for everyone, keeping heirloom varieties alive for future generations. We believe farmers, gardeners, and communities have the right to save their own seeds and, in so doing, preserve seed diversity and food security in an age of corporate agriculture and patented, hybridized, or genetically modified seeds. All the seeds we sell can be saved, shared, and traded, and we encourage people to save their own seeds.
Charitable giving is a foundation of our business. Working with non-profit organizations, a significant portion of our annual profits goes toward providing food, emergency aid, sustainable development, and education to people in the U.S. and abroad. We also provide free seeds to hundreds of community and educational groups each year. We believe everyone should have access to nutrient-dense, delicious food, season after season.
Founder Jere Gettle started Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company in 1998 as a hobby, and though it has since grown into North America's largest heirloom seed company, we've never lost our passion for growing and sharing heirloom varieties. Jere's original 1998 catalog included around 70 varieties. He distributed 550 copies to friends, family members, and fellow seed savers. The next year, catalogs shipped to nearly 20,000 gardeners, and circulation grew each year as new customers discovered the seeds -- and the story -- of Baker Creek. Today, we distribute a total of about 1.4 million catalogs featuring approximately 1,000 stunning heirloom varieties.
Our headquarters in Mansfield, Missouri, includes trial gardens, greenhouses, a pioneer village, and a seed store, all on the homestead where Jere started the business as a teenager. We also operate a seed store in Petaluma, California.
Baker Creek began hosting festivals in 2000 as a way to bring gardeners, homesteaders, and natural foods enthusiasts together to exchange ideas and seeds, learn from renowned experts, and enjoy vendors, old-time music, and more. Our public events include the National Heirloom Exposition, which draws more than 20,000 people each year. For the Expo's 10th anniversary, the 2023 event will be held beachside in Ventura, California. Our Tulip Festival, Spring Planting Festival, and Fall Harvest Festival are hosted at our Mansfield, Missouri, farm each year.
Jere and his wife Emilee are the authors of two books published by Hyperion: The Heirloom Life Gardener and The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook.