The story behind Azarius
A (much) better love story than Twilight
Once upon a time in the Netherlands during the 1990s, a college boy met a college girl. It was love at first sight and our love-struck couple shared one major passion: an interest in ethnobotany, a fancy word basically meaning an interest in all the gifts of Mother Nature and the benefits they provide.
Back then, Google was in its infancy and Wikipedia wasn’t even around. The internet was an exciting new thing, but finding reliable information on ethnobotanics was a nightmare. So, our young couple started an information website together about ephedra and ephedrine.
The website attracted visitors from all over the world, who all had one burning question. “Where do I buy this awesome stuff?” And so the college kids started selling ephedra supercaps.
Azarius: one of the first online smartshops
One love led to another. In 1999 (in between partying exactly as if it were in fact 1999) the duo expanded the business to sell a variety of psychoactive products. Azarius was born! We were one of the first online smartshops in Europe. Quite possibly in the entire universe.
People seemed to like what we were doing. Our ranks grew and we moved to a bigger space in Amsterdam. Nowadays we employ more than 40 people, each and every one of them special in their own way. Oh, and the college kids? They're just as in love and started an awesome family of their own... time flies!
Doing what we do best
Our goal has never been to become big, it just sort of happened along the way. But are we the best at we do, you ask?
At the risk of sounding self-absorbed; yes. Yes, we totally are. A lot of our customers are probably not aware of this (because we don’t usually feel the need to be the centre of attention), but we pour a lot of effort into our products and service.
What started as a single bedroom apartment is now a big warehouse with office space in Amsterdam. Here, our team of passionate psychonauts is constantly looking for new experiences and doing their very best to deliver excellent service.
Our humble beginnings still characterize Azarius today. For example, we still party like it’s 1999. And we still love what we do and do it with love. How often do you find a group of people believe that in the work they do? That can actually go to work with a smile*?
We believe that what grows in nature has the right to exist. Because of misleading information and prejudice, many plants and herbs have been banned and stigmatised. This has far-reaching consequences for the public’s health and safety (the War on Drugs). This is why we are doing our utmost to correctly inform our website visitors.
From Amsterdam, With Love
Our team goes to great lengths to get our herbs from reliable farmers and suppliers from all over the world, who send it to our warehouse (and hopefully not the bedroom), sometimes in barely more than a garbage bag with duct tape.
Then, we sprinkle it with some Azarius love in our very own production department, where roots and leaves are shredded, seeds are counted and vodkas are shaken (not stirred). In the end, everything is packaged into the colourful range of products you see on our website.
Brands like Herbs of the Gods, Seeds of the Gods and Innervisions all sprouted from our own minds, hands and, of course, heart. Yeah, we’re quite proud of this!
Customer service is another thing we’d like to think we’re good at it. Greatest in the world? Well, that’s quite a bold claim that invites a healthy dose of scepticism, but yes, we’re pretty cool guys and girls that stand by what we do.
If you’re not happy with our service, we’ll certainly try our hardest to turn that frown upside down. Read more about our customer service.
And voilà, that’s how we get great quality, a service you can trust and a price that doesn’t make you cry yourself to sleep every night.
But enough about us…
That’s our story in a nutshell. If you’d like to know more or if you want to tell us what you think, we’d love to hear from you; the good, the bad and the ugly. Any feedback is welcome, as it’ll help us improve our service to you.
Love & Peace!
- Team Azarius
Azarius is a member of Keurmerk Webshop, an independent organisation that aims to protect the interests of consumers.
And we’re a member of VLOS; the Dutch national association for smartshops. Read all about the VLOS.
Our motto is: what grows in nature has the right to exist. We give people access to plants, herbs and seeds from all over the world. Things that can provide amazing experiences and life lessons.
Information is key
Azarius started as an information website and to this day still do our best to provide clear and complete information for all our products. Thanks to this information our customers can safely and responsible enjoy our products.
Because of misleading information and prejudice, many plants and herbs have been banned and stigmatised. This has far-reaching consequences for the public’s health and safety (the War on Drugs).
Azarius supports organisations that strive towards better drug policies; policies based on scientific research, backed up by health experts, instead of fear and political lobbies. Would you like to support them too?
Customer service is important to us. Very, very important.
On a scale of 1 to 10, we’d place it at 11. It’s the first thing we think of in the morning and the last thing on our minds when we shut off the lights in the evening. In fact, we’d choose our customers over own mother, even if it’s her birthday. We would even…well, never mind. You get the point.
Joking aside, we know we operate in a field of business that is known to be a little dodgy at times. And we realise we’ll have to work hard to earn your trust. People sometimes ask us if we’re for real. Rather than being insulted by having someone question our very existence, we revel in the opportunity to explain that yes indeed, we are here to help in any way we can.
Azarius customer service is based upon several pillars. We tried coming up with a fancy acronym but after one unproductive afternoon and an empty coffee-maker we decided to just roll with this list:
Passion & expertise
We love what we do and have fun doing it. We stand behind the products we sell and care about our mission of spreading all of nature’s wonders around the world.
Our team consists of psychonauts who don’t just pretend to know about the products because their contract forces them to; they actually know them on a personal level. These men and women are experts in the prestigious field of trippin’ balls and mellowing out; true Jedi Masters of psychedelics.
Assuming you’re not a computer-savvy animal, you are a human being and would like to be treated as such. Not a random sequence of numbers. Not a ‘support ticket’. And certainly not like smelly, radioactive goo that needs to be disposed of as quickly as possible.
It just so happens that the Azarius customer service department is one of the very few CS departments in the world to actually employ humans to answer your calls and emails. We understand that not receiving your package can thoroughly ruin your weekend plans and that it’s not always your fault if your grow kit forgets to grow.
The touchy feely stuff doesn’t amount to much if it takes forever to hear from us. That’s why all our employees are intravenously drip-fed caffeine, forced to type with ten fingers and subjected to gruelling matches to the death between the two slowest team members. We’ve also installed a fireman’s pole in place of the stairs because sliding down one looks really cool (although going up is a bit of challenge now).
It’s our mission in life to respond to all emails within one business day or less. But wait, there’s more. It’s not just about being faster than a speeding bullet; after all a speedy answer is not necessarily a satisfactory one. So the goal is to be as helpful as possible; to fully answer your question or deal with your issue quickly and professionally.
We are only humans and, much like humans, we’re continuously evolving. Maybe we’ll make a mistake or two along the way, but the goal is to never stop improving our service to you. So please don’t hesitate to share your feedback with us!
As you can hopefully tell, we take service very seriously.