For a yoga teacher raised in a Kombi van, the story of how Tahnee McCrossin met her now business partner and fiancée is very on-brand. That brand being SuperFeast, purveyors of tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms, based in the NSW Northern Rivers...
“I went to a weekend Ayahuasca ceremony”, Tahnee recalls, “and after coming home, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a guy who was presenting to a room full of people in Melbourne who looked rad. He turned out to be Mason, founder of SuperFeast, and my now-fiance and baby daddy.”
Despite being enrolled in a herbal studies course at the time, Tahnee was something of a skeptic – but starting on a regime of reishi and he shou wu sparked such a dramatic shift for her that she’s now been taking the herbs for six years, and is the General Manager of SuperFeast. Making health accessible is at the heart of what they do. “So much of what makes the foundation of health is free”, she tells us. “Air, water, earth, movement. We want to make health accessible and get away from this daft exclusivity that has pervaded the wellness scene for so long.”
Now mother to three year old Aiya, SuperFeast also played a role in Tahnee’s postpartum experience. “I had so much less capacity after my daughter was born”, she explains. “That was a big adjustment for me, as I’ve been able to push through my whole life. I realised I needed to nourish myself like I was nourishing this tiny child”. In response, she and Mason developed a special Postpartum blend for just this purpose.
But don’t worry. Unlike so many hawkers in the wellness industry, Tahnee isn’t evangelical about herbs. Although she lives and breathes SuperFeast, “I don’t try and sell them to people”, she says when we ask her about skeptics. “I believe we find what we need when we are ready to receive it.”
Curious? We certainly were…
Go to SuperFeast
Can you tell us a little bit about your own childhood?
My parents lived with me in a Kombi until I was three. We have lots of cute pics of me having a bath in the tiny sink and lounging in my baby chub in amazing landscapes across WA and the Outback. They worked on a movie (The Light Horseman) and spent some time around Adelaide and Melbourne until they settled in Cairns. I loved Cairns, we had a great childhood there until I was 10 – very free, wild and exciting. It got more free and wild when we moved to Bingil Bay, near Mission Beach, onto a property and my parents built their own home. It took them 10 years, or more, really. It was the four of us, plus chickens, ducks, three cats, guinea pigs, a St Bernard, a horse and the wild cassowaries in a 30-ft caravan in the bush for about four years. A lot of those pets did not handle the transition to living in a rainforest, sadly. I have some stories from that time!
But I am very grateful for my childhood. I was given a lot of freedom. I started working when I was 14 and 9 months. I would ride my bike and walk everywhere, and friends had boats, so we went to the islands and the reef and went snorkelling and wakeboarding. My Dad is a white water river guide, so that was a big part of my life growing up. Now I am stoked I was raised that way, though if I am honest I was a bit embarrassed about my crazy parents when I was a teenager.
How and when were you first exposed to tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms?
I owned a Yoga studio in Newcastle, NSW, and I decided it would be a good time to offer workshops and ways for people to deepen their knowledge of wellness and health. I had signed up for a herbal studies course, so that was an area I was super interested in. I went to a weekend Ayahuasca ceremony and after coming home, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a guy who was presenting to a room full of people in Melbourne who looked rad. He turned out to be Mason, founder of SuperFeast, and my now-fiancee and baby daddy. When he came to talk at my studio we became friends. I was really suspect of the things he was saying at the beginning, and I kept challenging him. He’d really graciously reply, I’d research what he said, it’d be right, and so on it went. I’d been raised with natural medicine, had been seeing naturopaths since I was 16, and was really accepting that herbs were allies, but the whole tonic thing seemed a bit wild. I was so used to the Western model of using herbs to treat illness, and the modern Traditional Chinese Medicine model of being prescribed a baggie of weird bits and pieces but having no real idea of what I was taking. I hadn’t come across this herbal path. I’d been interested in and studying TCM for a few years at that stage, through my Yoga studies, but tonic herbs were really the final piece of the puzzle for me. Once Mason went back to Sydney, I started taking reishi and he shou wu and literally my whole life changed. It’s been about 6 years now, and I feel like I’ve been studying since that first meeting, and I have learned so much.
Can you tell us about SuperFeast and the ethos behind the brand?
I am really proud of SuperFeast. Mason wants to end degenerative health; I want to help people remember that their body holds all the wisdom they will ever need. I feel like we are both on a mission, even though sometimes running a business feels really daunting and horrible and overwhelming – even when it’s a rad business! I am the General Manager of SuperFeast, and one of the things I am most proud of is the culture we have created. It’s been a lot of trial and error, for sure, but it’s amazing to feel like we are creating something that is meaningful, supportive to the community and the people involved – from our herb farmers to our warehouse staff to our customers – that is taking it seriously that we have to reduce our impact on our planet. We ask ourselves a lot of hard questions and we seek to find the answers, and we have a sustainability officer who is a wild inspiration, and that might one day be a model for other businesses in our industry. I am really inspired by companies like Patagonia and I want to see our business lead and excel in everything we do. Our team seem to really, genuinely love working with us, and our customers write us love letters. Both those things make me so happy.