Back to Hanna Kroeger History

It was in 1963, ten years after their arrival to America, that Hanna and Rudolf felt that they had finally made enough money to feel that they were comfortable and that Hanna’s work was being noticed and accepted by the community. It was also the beginning of the Flower Children era and Hanna was deeply involved in their movement. She loved the hippies and applauded their protests against the Vietnam War and against the rules of society. She doctored them with herbs, and opened her store on cold nights so that the homeless youth would have a warm place to sleep. She often brought them home for supper, and, after talking with them far into the night, she’d give them a bed and breakfast, before sending them on their way.

More and more people came to the store each day to get Hanna’s often unorthodox advice. One day a woman came holding her two year old child. “Help me, please help me. I just came from the doctor who said my child has hepatitis and is dying. What can I do?” Hanna looked at the jaundiced child whose arms hung lifelessly over the mother’s arms. “Go to the store. Buy fresh limes and fresh beets. Grate the beets and make juice from them. Squeeze the juice from the limes. Give the child a tablespoon of fresh beet juice one hour and fresh lime juice the next. Wake the child up for 24 hours to take the juices.” Two days later the woman came back with a very happy child who wanted only to explore the shelves of products in the store. Another life was saved.

Often herbal formulas were put together depending upon the need at the time. Hanna would choose the herbs, grind them together with a mortar and pestle, and employ her children to encapsulate them around the kitchen table at night while they sang songs and exchanged stories.
In 1969, Mo Siegel, the founder of Celestial Seasonings, displayed his first teas at New Age Foods. Hanna was very concerned about Mo and his friend because “they spent all their time writing happy messages on the tea bags and not enough time selling them.”

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