Here we have tried to gather some of the most relevant questions that our Co-op Members will find helpful. On this page, we have tried to cover questions and answers related to our group, products, facilities, co-op policies, and everything in between. For more questions about Vanilla beans, Vanilla extract, storage, bulk orders etc. Please check out FAQs on our home page. If we have missed out on your particular question, feel free to chat with us or drop an e-mail. We are looking forward to your queries, suggestions, and concerns.
The Questions And Answers Will Be About:
• The Group.
• Order, Payment, etc.
• About Vanilla Beans.
• Shipping policy & return.
• Co-Op Policies.
The Co-op Group
ORCHID-VANILLA BEAN CO-OP is a group of Vanilla Bean enthusiasts. Here, we are pooling our money to obtain the best prices on vanilla beans by making a group purchase. It will benefit everyone since we will first gather multiple orders and directly collect the product in bulk from farmers. That means there will be no possible medium or intermediaries. Thus, this economical solution will be beneficial for farmers as well as our Co-op members. And it will be possible and even more profitable when you share our Co-op group link and invite friends, family, etc. After all, this will help us reach more and more targeted members.
A cooperative aka “co-op,” is a business owned and operated by and for the benefit of its members. A cooperative develops when a group of people comes across the same requirement. Cooperatives can be considered an early expression of “collaborative consumption” with more profit.
The way it operates is similar to a conventional business than a non-profit. And the difference can be seen in the following Cooperative Principles:
● Voluntary Membership
● Self-governing Member Control
● Economic Participation of Members
● Independence and Autonomy
● Cooperation Among the Co-op members
● Concern for Community
A group of individuals with the same requirement gather and combine their money to form a co-op and thus, offer premium quality products at reduced prices. Since we operate as a group, it allows us to buy in bulk and ship in bulk assuring considerable cost savings. Participants buy vanilla beans by the oz, instead of purchasing individual beans making the orders larger and more money-saving. We also don't spend much on advertising this program. Instead, it grows mostly through word-of-mouth.
We are based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada & our collector and processing facility is in Madagascar. Because of Covid, we lost contracts with large businesses. Then we decided to become open to all and that is why we came to the online market. We found out that most businesses are selling Vanilla beans at a higher price. That is why we came to reach out directly to consumers through a co-op group. And this is how we started our journey as a Co-op.
How to Order Through Vanilla Bean Group
Our co-op working process is simple. You just wait for a little and save a lot. Here's how it goes:
We collect our orders on a pre-order form. We will announce the open orders on the Facebook group and send them to our email notification list. The orders will be open for about a week or two every month. Then, we will collect the individual orders. In this group, you will see group orders for a selected range of vanilla beans at great prices for members of the community. And this will be available for a limited time. So, always stay alert for announcements of new orders through the group.
Only by joining our "Orchid-Vanilla Bean Co-op" Facebook group, you will get this special price. We schedule all co-op orders to start to ship after the co-op sale closes. We will vacuum-pack the order and ship it to you. And if we can deliver them early, we will send you an email notification with all your shipment and tracking details.
Co-op ordering is easy. We will post the order link to the Facebook group as announcements on the page. We will do it for whatever vanilla beans or products are available for purchase. So you do not miss an exciting deal, keep an eye on the order page.
On our site, you will come across many payment options such as Debit/Credit card, Paypal, or E-mail transfer. However, we would request you to use the E-transfer payment option since this will help us avoid 3.25% visa, Master card, and Amex charges. Select “Email Transfer” and you will get all the information while checkout.
If you choose other payment options such as credit/debit card or Paypal, please add 3.25% to your total order amount and add it to the “Credit/Debit cards & Paypal fee” that you will see while checkout.
We strive to have a pre-order form open. However, sometimes there will be a few days when we are busy with other things and are not taking orders. Pre-orders usually depend on the accessible inventory and remain open until we are out of stock. That is why even though we aim for 2-weeks, sometimes we have to close sooner.
We do our best to deal with different varieties of beans. However, our sale depends on what and how much inventory our suppliers have available. Fairtrade practices will determine the pricing and the rate will vary by bean type and current market rates. We do not sell individual beans, rather sell by the ounce of weight. The price will always be reasonable.
The best deals are sometimes as low as $12/oz. Do not worry because pricing will be updated regularly so you do not miss the best deal.
We have years of experience in dealing with our farmers and we generally know what to expect. Still, remember that there are risks involved when purchasing something from overseas. Things that may potentially happen are the beans may have some splits, maybe less than 13 cm in length, or maybe a little bit dry. Also, due to moisture loss or differences in scale calibration, there may be a fraction of an ounce difference. To mitigate this, we send a few extra beans in every order.
However, you can be sure that you will not lose your money with us. If required, we will even refund. There will be no spoiled or moldy beans. Rest assured that if anything is wrong, we'll make it right.
No, our co-op is developed to have only one seller of vanilla beans. We sometimes have related items to buy. However, if you have an item to sell that would benefit members with their vanilla, get in touch with us. Never deal with a person trying to get money from you or sell you something. Don’t get scammed and if you see anything fishy, please let us know!! Also, contact us if you have any questions regarding our order or payment.
The Vanilla bean varieties we get in the co-op are “Vanilla Planifolia”, “Vanilla Tahitensis ”, “Vanilla Pompona” etc. Most vanilla beans are Vanilla Planifolia. Since vanilla beans are grown in different regions, they have different notes, aromas, and tastes from each other.
Vanilla Tahitensis came from Mexico to French Polynesia and became a hybrid. When compared to Vanilla Planifolia, the pods are shorter and broader, and they are different in terms of taste and fragrance.
Indonesian Vanilla Beans:
(V. Planifolia) With notes of cinnamon, cream & butter, these beans have the most “common” flavor of vanilla. The extract made with these beans often has a familiar flavor to those available in the stores. However, for vanilla fanatics like us, the difference is quite noticeable.
Malagasy (Madagascar) Vanilla Beans:
The most well-known vanilla bean, V. Planifolia Madagascar beans are popular for their rich, woody, clean smell. After all, Madagascar is the top producer of vanilla beans. The Mexican-style Madagascar beans come with a stronger smoky aroma.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) Vanilla Beans (V. Planifolia):
With additional notes of raisin, these beans are very similar to Malagasy and Indonesian beans.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) Vanilla Beans (V. Tahitensis):
This is quite similar to other beans from Papua New Guinea but comes with a slightly more floral and brighter aroma.
Ugandan Vanilla Beans:
Ugandan beans also come from Vanilla Planifolia and have flavor and aroma with notes of chocolate. Since it has the right amount of vanillin, the flavor is very strong which is great for desserts of chocolate, ice cream, cookies, drinks, etc.
Tahitian Vanilla Beans:
With a distinct, bright, delicious, floral flavor profile, this variety of beans can often be the most expensive vanilla beans. But these have a more versatile use. And since these beans are lighter you are likely to get many beans in an ounce. You can use them to make perfumes, candles, and other personal products along with caramels and light airy desserts.
Sri Lankan Vanilla Beans:
It is a very rich variety of vanilla beans with flavor notes of Chocolate, Coffee, and Caramel.
With floral and raisiny notes, these beans are wider and longer than any other variety. Even though it is a rare variety, it grows year-round because it grows in a native environment.
Shipping policy & return
Yes, we ship USA/Internationally. And you can get all the details related to shipping pricing on the order page.
All co-op orders are scheduled to begin to ship the day after the co-op sale closes. Generally, it is delivered within 3-5 working days. But we advise you to wait for a more extended period. The delivery doesn't get delayed for not more than three weeks for local orders and not more than six weeks for international orders.
It is sad if a shipment gets lost during transit. We are not responsible for the shipment as soon as it leaves our premises. We do not cover unavoidable disasters or calamities. Hence, we do not offer any shipping guarantee.
We will inform you about the unavoidable delay. Please be patient with us. The delivery doesn't get delayed for not more than three weeks for local orders and not more than six weeks for international orders.
We believe 30 days are enough for checking the quality and getting customers satisfied with their purchase. After this period, the products are non-returnable. If you are willing to return the product, please communicate your wish within 30 days from the date of purchase.
First of all, we guarantee the beans will arrive to you without mold. Still, if you have any issues with the product, take a picture and contact us. We will find you a solution by either re-shipping the order or offer a refund. We do not have insurance. That is why we will cover the beans if they are lost in transit or arrive damaged. However, remember, we will need the photos.
Please give us a chance to fix the problem before leaving a negative, public review. If you have any queries, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give us a call at (647 247 9202). We will resolve your concerns as soon as possible.
We make sure orders are accurate. Still, moisture loss can happen, especially in warmer weather. Contact us, if you have beans that have lost more than ½ ounce per 4 ounces of beans in transit. If your order is short, contact the Support team for a solution before using the beans. We will need photos and/or videos. So, keep the product intact until we get back to you.
Orchid-Vanilla Bean Group Practices
4 things that each group member is requested to follow are:
1. Every member should provide a review of their purchase. Members can leave their opinion about products either online, on social media, via email, or can even give a hand-written letter. It will really help us grow and help new members know more.
2. Every member is requested to share this group with at least 3 friends or family members since that will help the group grow, improve pricing, etc.
3. Every member should be available for contact with all of the friends and family and the member will introduce this program to them. Members will be available to answer their questions and teach them how to order.
4. We expect every member to be patient since we will be combining your orders with others to gain order, shipping, picking, and packing efficiencies. Your lead time will be 1-2 weeks.
Disrespecting group Admins or Moderators is not allowed. People found doing so will be removed from the group. We always appreciate kindness as well as mutual understanding and cooperation. We strive to offer good customer service. However, since this is a group purchase opportunity, not a retail business, please do not take advantage of that and the unbeatable prices you will find here. Always read the directions on forms and follow them carefully.
Just visit our FAQ page (And you are already here!). Here you first try to find the answer to your question. Then, search on the Group page by using the little magnifying glass icon and typing in a few words. There are maximum chances you will find the answer here. Still, if you fail, post your question to the group, and get lots of answers!
Orchid-Vanilla Bean Group is a friendly place and we are always happy to help. We depend on your help and always appreciate your cooperation with other members. Your kind response is always expected and appreciated. You can volunteer as a mentor or you can also ask someone to mentor you.
Orchid-Vanilla Bean Group simply is a busy place. And we have a small and diligent group of moderators who work really hard to help keep things organized and easy to read. Sometimes, we do not approve certain posts because those will overwhelm the page. To keep the newsfeed more updated and efficient, we often tag you in a post where you will find the answer to your question. Or, we can direct you to post your excitement in a place where others will like it. Please don't mind if you find your post declined. We love to hear from you! Well, if you want to know the surefire way to get approved, post a delicious photo of a vanilla treat!!
We will remove any comments or posts containing foul language, or if those are political, or hateful in any way.
We do not allow direct reselling of vanilla beans bought through a group purchase. However, you can feel free to prepare things with your beans or vanilla extract and sell those products.
All the members of this co-op group are expected to respect the group Admins. Members being abusive will be removed from the group. Mutual understanding is required. Since this is a co-op, not a retail business, please do not take advantage of that and the exciting prices you get here. Always read the directions on forms and follow them carefully.
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