Mazel Tov Farms products
When Cary Neiman named his cannabis company Mazel Tov Farms in 2016, he had no idea just how much luck it would bring him.
“I don’t necessarily believe in God, and I’m not a religious person by nature, but I really love the sense of community I’ve gotten from my connection to Judaism,” he said. “And I thought that was really a kind of interesting and potentially special place to launch a brand from.”
But the name also opened the doors for chance Jewish connections, which ended up turning the company’s fortunes around after suffering huge losses in the 2017 Tubbs Fire.
“That wouldn’t have happened, I believe, if I hadn’t named my brand Mazel Tov Farms,” said Neiman.
While it was founded just a few years ago, Mazel Tov’s genesis can be traced back to 2009 when Neiman, a Chicagoan, met Melissa Whitley, from Santa Cruz, at a punk show in Chicago. They started dating, and eventually made their way to Santa Rosa and found property with land suitable to embark on their plans to raise a family and launch a cannabis company brand.
“I was brainstorming, myself, out in my grow — that’s where I do all my thinking,” Neiman said. “And it dawned on me that I really wanted to include and embrace my Judaism and my Jewish history into whatever I was going to undertake next.”
The brand was growing when disaster struck in October 2017 and the Tubbs Fire ravaged several North Bay communities. “We got completely wiped out,” Neiman said. “Our residence, our grow, our vehicles, our storage, just everything. [It] was a big bummer, and was potentially, I thought, the end of Mazel Tov.”
Neiman and Whitley evacuated safely with their young son, but they lost everything (luckily their cat, Billy Ray Valentine, turned up three days later). Disheartened, they weren’t sure about reviving Mazel Tov Farms. But after regrouping, they decided to start again in Carmel Valley, where Neiman’s parents live.
Published: February 11, 2021