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The scoop on 'Gourmet Seed International'

  Company Profile  
Gourmet Seed International

Mailing Address:
HC 12 Box 510
Tatum, New Mexico 88267 (United States)

Phone: (575) 398-6111

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This company is affiliated with 2 companies:This company offers a variety of seeds.

This company specializes in:

Other helpful information:

  Company Comment, posted on November 3, 2014:  
Gourmet Seed International is now under new ownership and operation. The new owner has moved the business to his organic farm in Hollister,California. Grant Brians and the Brians' family operates Heirloom Organic Gardens, a specialty vegetable, herb and orchard farm there along with Gourmet Seed. Both businesses focus on flavor as the heart of the philosophy on the products. Shipments from the Hollister location started in July and we strive to meet all of the customers needs.
We are small, but focus on gardeners and market growers and are the exclusive importers of Bavicchi seeds from Italy as well as seeds from other sources and production by our farm of some vegetable seeds. Please reference our website or call the telephone number if you are interested in seed or need information from the business. We try to staff the phones from 8-4 Pacific time on weekdays.
This post is simply intended to let people know of the change from the previous operation in New Mexico, but the same high quality seed will continue!

  Feedback History and Summary  
44 positives
6 neutrals
17 negatives


Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

Negative Goosegirl6
Franklin, MA
(1 review)
August 20, 2020
I visited their website in march and was excited to find seeds (rampion and scented violas) that I was having trouble locating elsewhere. Having vague recollections of ordering seeds from here before I ordered from them without hesitation. It is now August and my seeds were never delivered. My card was charged, but after that...crickets.
I tried contacting this company through email, the phone and even Facebook and everything bounces back.
I would say that I was unsure this company is still in business, but i know you have to pay to continue to own a website and domain.
In short unless you wish for much frustration while you wait for your nonexistent seeds to arrive and then the difficulties of trying to claw your money back, I would not recommend this company.
Negative weloveaz
Gilbert, AZ
(1 review)
March 9, 2020
I was excited to find the web site for Gourmet Seeds as I was unable to locate seeds for a particular Italian Cuke from my normal go to "Seeds from Italy" (who are wonderful BTW!). Gourmet seeds had the variety in stock, so I ordered those plus 4 additional seed packets. Received the payment confirmation from PayPal, but never the order confirmation from the company. Emails to the company or through their contact us link are returned as "no such address". Also unable to reach by phone. I have opened a case via paypal but will not have a resolution until at least 3/18/2020.
I wish I had waited for the variety to be restocked with Seeds from Italy as their customer service is impeccable and I have had tremendous germination rates with their seeds.
Also Wish I had found Dave's Garden before ordering. Glad I only ordered a few packets as opposed to a large bulk order.
Negative JeremiahT
Brodhead, KY
(1 review)
January 9, 2020
My experience was similar to scented08's below. Ordered seeds on November 19, but never received them. E-mails bounced back, and phone calls led to an inactive voice mail account. I have filed a claim with PayPal.

This is my second dealing with current ownership. Several seasons ago I received from them a packet of lettuce seed that contained not a single viable seed. I didn't complain----but, after reading reviews from others who had received old and/or possibly poorly stored seeds from them, simply wrote it off as a relatively inexpensive lesson and moved on to other companies.

Then, last fall---thinking they might have improved---I foolishly decided to give them another chance . . .

Gourmet Seed was once a great company and a reliable US retailer of Bavicchi seeds. After it changed hands it went entirely to pot. For all practical purposes, Gourmet Seed International is defunct.
Negative scented08
Yelm, WA
(1 review)
October 21, 2019
Very disappointed in this company. I have purchased from them for over 12 years and hadn't ordered in the recent past, so I wasn't expecting such horrific issues. Placed a fairly large order from their website and never received any form of confirmation of my order. I could log in and see it stating "processing" but no notice at all. After several other orders I placed arrived from other companies, I sent an email that was returned. I logged into their website and sent an email via their webform, also returned. Called the number listed on their website - goes to a voicemail that has never been set up. Checked out their website and attempted to call that number (same area code in Hollister, CA) also goes to a voicemail that has not been set up. Forwarded my returned emails to that email address - no response! Started looking on web for complaints...OH MY! Anyway, I had to charge back my purchase and have yet to hear a word from them. Be careful!
Negative rpastore
Lewisburg, PA
(1 review)
March 12, 2017
I have been ordering from Gourmet Seeds International for years and was disheartened when they announced they would be going out of business due to retirement of the owner. I loved ordering from this company because the prices and selection were awesome. I also found it interesting to order seeds from Italy. A few years ago, I was very pleased to find that the company was sold to Heirloom Organic Gardens, a company based out of California. I do not know anything about the company but If you visit their web site, you will find that it leaves much to be desired. The Gourmet Seeds International web site has changed but it still looks professional.

With all of this being said, I am giving this company a negative review because I noticed that some of the seed packets I received were one or two years old and had the last number crossed out with a pen in the year date and changed to the current year. I realize that you can use old seeds but obviously this is unprofessional. I would have understood this if they would have 1) Received permission from the customer to substitute 2) Guaranteed customer satisfaction and 3) Given a discount for older seeds. Apparently they were getting rid of old inventory. At this point, I do not know if those seeds germinated as I plant many many seeds. I have had seeds from other companies with the current year's date not germinate while older packs have germinated. FYI, I am going to give Gourmet Seeds International one more chance this year but will keep records of packet dates and germination rates and submit another post to this blog.
I noticed some comments about the expensive shipping charges on this blog. They do not make it cheap for small orders but order over $75 are free. It used to be $50.

Negative Elliana56
Crawfordville, FL
(1 review)
October 3, 2016
Of 10 packets of seed I received 7 were past the expiration date, some by more than a year. I called and spoke with the owner who was very nice and said the seeds would still grow. He saw nothing wrong with sending out seeds past the expiration date! I will NOT order from him again. I will write the Bavicchi seed company in Italy who he is the US distributor for and tell them what is going on.
Negative lemurianne
Ida Grove, IA (Zone 5a)
(16 reviews)
February 20, 2016
I should have known better than to order from Gourmet Seed based on the reviews here, but they had one specific seed that I could not find from a more reputable source as well as another that I wanted, in bulk, for an excellent price. My complaint is that at least one packet of seed (the one that I most wanted to begin with!) was packed in 2013, with a printed expiration date in 2015. I emailed Gourmet Seed, requesting a replacement or refund, but have not received a reply.

Though their prices range from reasonable to fantastic, and the shipping is very prompt, I find it unacceptable that a company sell old seeds, particularly seeds (like beans, for example) that don't have a good chance of germinating several years after they are harvested. I will not be ordering from Gourmet Seed again.
Neutral just_a_guy
Morgan Hill, CA
(3 reviews)
February 10, 2016
I placed an order with Gourmet Seeds International in January 2016. 1) The prices listed on their website for some items are incorrect and misleading. When I went to check out, I was charged more. Called customer service to bring this to their attention, yet as of to date (almost a month later), they have not corrected the discrepancies. 2) Shipping charges are high. The least expensive option I was offered was USPS Priority Mail for $6.75, even if I wanted only one pack of seeds. I emailed customer service asking them if they could mail my order regular first class mail instead of priority (I was in no hurry to receive my order), they ignored my inquiry, I received no reply back. 3) They sell old/expired seeds. I received a pack of seeds that was harvested in 2013 and printed with an expiration date of June 2015. Final note... I believe this company has recently been sold or has changed hands and is now based out of Hollister, CA.
Positive lokidog
Logan, UT
(4 reviews)
June 28, 2015
Posted on June 9, 2015, updated June 28, 2015
Seem to have gone - offline and possibly out of business.?
On June 28th, 2015, lokidog changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

They are back - probably just a glitch. I order from them nearly every year. I have had some issues (seeds not germinating, seeds wrong variety, etc.), but have to say, that I've had issues with nearly every place I've ordered from. However, I have been mostly pleased with what I have received. And many have done very well here in my garden. I love the large size, the hermetic packaging (which is actually Bavicchi), and the prompt delivery of seeds. Ordering is easy too.
Positive cmdrz0g
Huntington, NY
(1 review)
June 10, 2015
Placed two orders so far this year and received the seed promptly and without problems. Gourmet seed carries a selection of seeds that are difficult to source elsewhere and have been one of the main suppliers for my vegetable garden seeds for many years. In years past they have never failed to deliver what was ordered in a timely manner and I was pleased to see the change in ownership has not changed their excellent service. I recommend them highly.
Negative diggit65
Melrose, FL
(1 review)
April 8, 2015
I have ordered from this company several years and until this year my transactions were satisfactory. I ordered an ornamental (coleus) and the seeds came and at some point before I was to plant them I noticed the package seemed very light. When I opened it there were perhaps 10 seeds in the large hermetically sealed container. I called the company and the person I spoke with identified himself as the new owner of the company and while I waited on the line he checked on another seed packet at his facility and informed me there should be 600 seeds in the packet. He then said they would be sending me a replacement. I have never rec'd the replacement even though I sent a follow up email. Obviously customer service is not their concern and I will not be doing business with them again. Also another Bavicchi product I bought at the same time, verbena seed, had non existent germination. A mail order business only gets repeat orders from satisfied customers. I am saddened to not be able to buy the Bavicchi seeds in the US, but I will look for another vendor internationally if necessary.
Negative greenone2feel
Portland, OR
(1 review)
February 18, 2014
Had a similar experience to the fellow below. Attempted to deal with an error on their part last season and was met with the overly aggressive Phil the manager instead. Poor, poor service...decent seed list.
Positive tmckeven
(1 review)
April 13, 2013
Great company to do business with. Been buying from them for several years, now. Quality is good, packaging is amazing, shipping is incredibly fast. Only one glitch of an incorrect item on an order a year ago, and they were friendly and quick to fix it. Always get great results in the garden, too, and I like trying the unusual mix of varieties.
Negative drthor
Irving, TX (Zone 8a)
(8 reviews)
April 7, 2013
Posted on April 2, 2013, updated April 7, 2013
Posted on September 8, 2010, updated April 2, 2013
This is my favorite seed company and website.
I am from Italy and I am always looking for vegetables that remind me of growing up in Padova, Italy.
Gourmet seeds has all the vegetables I love. they came in very large quantity.
On April 2nd, 2013, drthor changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

This company was my favorite until I had a horrible experience and I will NEVER order again.
I bought one package of seeds that was on sale last August for $2.50. I planted after 7 months. I had 5% germination.
I wrote the company and I received a very long email saying that they did test the seeds ... that they were good ... probably it is because I stored the seeds badly ... practically it was all my fault ... and how dare do I contact them ...
So I did sent them clear pictures of all the other companies seeds I started at the same time and had 99% germination. I also wrote that the seeds were all stored in the same way.
I received an email back telling me that he cannot see any problem in these pictures) in a very rude manner.
The next day I called the company. I really thought this person"Phil" was somebody in a calling service outside USA because he really didn't understand anything about gardening.
Guess what? Phil answered the phone and he said he was one of the owner. He couldn't stop talking ... he was aggressive and offensive and totally ruin my experience with this company. By the way he told me that if a seed is on sale and I don't plant it right away ... it is my problem.
Wouldn't that be easier that he offered to send me the package of seeds for $2.50 and ask me what it did go wrong and how could he improve his product!
This person was rude and I will NEVER order from them again.

"a life time to build your reputation - one second to destroy it"
On April 7th, 2013, drthor added the following:

I am not surprise of this answer, after reading the latest reviews of this company. Still a lot of "talking" but not "taking responsibility" of their products and most of all their "bad" customer service.

I apologize to the DG members that read my first review.
This company was good until I had a problem with them ... and I am glad that it was only for $2.50 ...

Bavicchi is a wonderful company and they seriously should look for a better representative in the USA.
Company representative comment on April 5, 2013:
On Apr 5, 2013 8:06 AM, Gourmet Seed International responded with:

This is truly one of the more odd situations we've seen. The customer bought the seed nearly 10 months ago (June 2012) as part of an 'overstock/end of season' sale of seed packed and dated for that year. The customer recently contacted us by email regarding poor germination. We confirmed we had a refund/replacement guarantee, but also noted that the order and seed the customer had identified to us was from 2012 in order to confirm we were talking about the correct seed. As is part of normal practice for our quality control, we asked if she could provide any additional information regarding storage, growing conditions and the like so that we might be able to identify any potential issues. Although the seed packaging was now past the expiration, that particular variety normally stores well and in fact had passed a germination test shortly before it had been put on sale in June of 2012.

The customer graciously not only gave us some additional information about storage and growing conditions, but she also sent some pictures of what appear to be a pretty wonderful seed-starting setup. We wrote back that from what she had shared we certainly didn't see any problems that could have contributed to the poor germination and so the cause was still a mystery.

The customer then requested a replacement package. Although it is extremely unusual to receive a guarantee request for seed purchased so long ago and for which the packaging had since expired, since she had been so helpful with her information we agreed to do so.

We then received a phone call from the customer where she repeatedly kept saying that we were 'horrible' and that our customer service was 'horrible'. Although we made an attempt to try to clear up what we could only guess was some type of communication misunderstanding and to assure her that we were in fact sending her replacement, she kept interrupting and repeating how 'horrible' we were.

And now this rather bizarre posting.

We're still the same company that she first posted about, and take great pride in going the extra mile to give the best possible quality and service we can humanly provide, and we appreciate any construction feedback we get as we strive to serve our customers better.

Positive yclops
Highland, UT (Zone 6a)
(1 review)
December 22, 2012
I've ordered twice from Gourmet Seed and have been very pleased with their service and products. Lots of interesting varieties, huge packets, and very fast shipping.

The seeds I've received from them have always been among my highest germinating seeds; the Italian Red Pear tomato I ordered this last Spring had almost 100% germination (and was a huge it), and the Tuscan kale and Charantais melon seeds from 2007-08 still germinated very well in 2012. The difference in germination rates from other vendors' seeds is noticeable.
Positive lssfishhunter
Jonesville, SC (Zone 7b)
(7 reviews)
December 21, 2012
I ordered from them early tue and received my order of corn on fri. It shipped from NM and I live in SC. I had no problems and the shipment came in an air-tight package with the exp. date, purity, and germ. rate on the package. If I need anything else, I will not hesitate to order from them again.
Negative teoc
Prineville, OR
(2 reviews)
August 16, 2012
I bought three items

a pocket knife with two blades

a pair of goat skin gloves

and some mesh bags

the only serviceable item were the mesh bags

the gloves would not last a week in normal garden use, and too small for a medium. if you saw these gloves at a flea market for $1 you wouldn't buy them

the pocket knife's blades were so compressed within the tang of the knife the only way to extract them was with a another tool—either that or have titanium fingernail transplants.

the original call to customer service was pleasant enough, the women said she had a knife and tried it and it worked fine and offered to send it as replacement and would send a mailing label for return of the gloves.

replacement knife arrived with exact same problem—apparently the women at customer service had a problem with truth telling.

I called and spoke to same customer service agent who was very defensive and went to her supervisor whose approach was to launch into a belligerent tirade never taking a breath and drowning out my efforts to communicate and then he hung up.

bottom line I've been making purchases online for more than a decade from businesses large and small and this without reservation the worst in terms of products and service.

on a scale of 1 to 10 this out fit is -10
Company representative comment on August 17, 2012:
On Aug 17, 2012 6:26 AM, Gourmet Seed International responded with:

We're sorry that this customer was not happy with his purchase. However, we take great exception in his portrayal of our products and customer service.

Although he was very belligerent and angry from his very first communication with us, we followed through on proper customer service, including a offering choice of refund on return or replacement. We did send a replacement knife along with a pre-paid return label, and in spite of his tirades we made every attempt to treat him professionally and with courtesy.

However, we will draw the line when a customer becomes abusive, and as a matter of policy to protect our employes we will cut off communication when that happens.

The customer did not like the products. That's fine, and as promised we did follow through on every effort to satisfy the customer, including refunding the purchase on return of the products.

However there is a difference between not liking a product and it being defective. These products were not defective. Goatskin is by nature more supple than calfskin, yet we can attest to the strength and durability of these gloves as they are used quite successfully by our field crews. Also, folding pocket knives should be by design to some extent stiff and difficult to open and close. This is for the safety of the user to prevent accidental closure when the blade is in use, something especially true for this particular knife as it includes a razor sharp pruning saw type blade.

This customer demanded a full refund before he would consider returning the product--including the replacement knife he had already been sent. This is something no merchant would ever do, and when he was reminded that he already had the pre-paid shipping label and that we would issue a refund on return, he became so loud and abusive we cut off communication.

We would advise any merchant to avoid doing business with this customer.

Positive garlicobsessioh
Water Valley, MS
(1 review)
January 18, 2012
Love getting my "PRESENT" from them every year. Packaging is so colorful and fun! Seed packages are so generous--surprised at how many seeds they contained. Germination rate is always good and I had the best eggplant I ever grew last summer. Absolutely a keeper!
Positive robbins
Osceola, MO
(1 review)
January 13, 2012
I've ordered from Gourmet Seed for several years. The service and germination are great, but the best part is the fantastic selection. I can always find something(s) that I find no where else and can rarely resist buying. I've found some great varieties that my garden will now never be without.
Negative szygzy
Bay Village, OH
(4 reviews)
January 13, 2012
First, they have a good seed list. Lots of things that are difficult to find elsewhere. However, quality control issues, such as the lettuce germination problems listed below, are common. After several years of ordering they have screwed something up every year. Usually treated seed listed as non-treated, incorrect cultivars (which they are then hostile about returning), and poor germination. This may be worth it to access difficult to find seeds and then grow out and save your own. A poorly run company representing a respected one, Bavvichi. Bavvichi needs to find a competent distributor. The last straw was this years antics, in which customer service wants to tell me I ordered treated seed while I am staring at my receipt which says otherwise. Very irritating. I advise taking your business elsewhere. Try sementi seeds, which has access to many of the same cultivars, but is well run.
Company representative comment on January 13, 2012:
On Jan 13, 2012 9:43 AM, Gourmet Seed International responded with:

While we appreciate constructive feedback and are always anxious to deal with any problems that may arise, we do need to clarify and correct a few of the comments posted here.

In spite of best efforts to repeatedly test and correctly store seed, on rare occasion seed that is not up to our normal standards does come up. Additionally, some claims for poor germination or performance are due to circumstances beyond the control of any seed company, such as poor weather, poor storage or handling by the customer, or some other cause. Regardless, in every case we are quick to respond to the customer's needs as is fitting the situation.

As to the current issue of treated/untreated seed, the varieties in question were all clearly listed online as treated when this customer placed their order. Additionally, the customer's packing list in fact does not list this either way. Even more so, the customer admitted to us by email that their packing list did not include this information, so what she claims in her posting that she is looking at simply does not exist.

Although this ordering error is not on our part, we have already responded to the customer by offering to arrange for its return or help in whatever other way they may need. Considering the circumstance we feel we have done everything and more possible to satisfy the customer.

In every communication this customer has been quite harsh and spiteful in their comments to us. Regardless, we have tried to be very courteous and offer solutions and resolutions, even for issues such as this that are not our fault. Our offer to help remains open.

Negative Johnhug
Wooster, OH
(1 review)
June 20, 2011
This was my first experience with this company. I bought 15 different seeds. None of the 2 Lettuce (May Queen or Ciucca) germinated. I wrote the company and they claimed to have experienced 100% germination on these seeds but nevertheless offered to reimburse me. I said OK but never heard from them again...
Since then things hardly improved; only a few of the Bush Snap and none of the Leeks or the Onion seeds came out either.
I have grown a substantial garden over the last 25y and never had an experience like this. By the way, my 2011 garden is otherwise doing very well in spite of some challenging weather conditions, but not thanks to Gourmet Seed.
Company representative comment on June 20, 2011:
On Jun 20, 2011 1:36 PM, Gourmet Seed International responded with:

We did receive an email from this customer regarding a problem with the lettuce seed not germinating. After properly identifying the order and the customer's preference for a refund, a refund was issued.

This posting is the first we have been told of any other problems. The customer did order a number of other items, but since they are not mentioned here, we can only assume they are performing well.

We are truly sorry if the customer has had difficulty, and would like to continue a direct conversation to work to identify possible causes, such as the very unusual weather conditions that have existed this year, any possible shipping issues, or any other possibilities. The fact that the customer is having problems for such an odd range of varieties in the order makes this conversation particularly important.

Whenever any kind of cultivation problem is brought up, we do all we can to identify possible causes. In particular, any issues of possible germination problems are looked into quickly. This requires as much information as is possible from the customer including lot numbers, growing conditions/weather, how the customer stored the seed until it was planted, and the like. This allows us to not only investigate and retest a lot of seed, but also to investigate any and all possible causes of problems.

Ultimately, not only do we want to solve whatever the problem may have been for this customer, but where appropriate we do want to take steps to avoid similar issues for our other customers and add to our knowledge base.

We invite this customer to please continue communicating with us as we work to get to the bottom of whatever issues there may be.

Phil Winteregg
General Manager

Positive Sherilou
Panhandle Gulf Coast, FL (Zone 8b)
(23 reviews)
April 1, 2011
I order about 3 or 4 packets of rare, hard-to-find vegetable seeds from Gourmet Seed International every year and I'm always happy... thank you!!!



Positive Horseshoe
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
(21 reviews)
March 12, 2011
I've had excellent results with Gourmet Seed. I was really impressed with the amount of seeds per pack. The fact that many of the seed packs are hermetically sealed is a plus, too.

A great source for European varieties, many not available in the States.

Shipping is prompt. And I don't believe I've ever had a backorder, a definite plus!

Positive debles
Tulsa, OK
(16 reviews)
January 18, 2011
I've ordered from them and always been satisfied. They carry a great variety of seeds and the packets generally contain more seed than many companies.

I love the mini hobby greenhouse things they sell too. Great for starting your own plugs/plants in a small amount of space. Once they're developed, they can easily be transplanted to individual pots.

Just placed another order yesterday.
Positive Bizz
East Moline, IL
(3 reviews)
June 10, 2010
Interesting selection. Did a small test order: easy ordering, prompt shipment, order filled correctly, no problems. Assuming the seed does well GSI is certainly a candidate for future orders.
Positive aspenbooboo41
Whitehall, PA (Zone 6a)
(3 reviews)
April 13, 2010
Very pleased with my purchase from Gourmet Seeds. Good selection of seed.
I received my seeds about 4 days after I placed my order, which was great. I ordered onion seed, arugula, and 2 types of tomatoes. I have planted the arugula and the tomatoes, and germination rates on both have been very good.

I would definitely order from this company again.
Positive Doug9345
Durhamville, NY (Zone 5b)
(7 reviews)
February 28, 2010
I was surprised and pleased with how fast I received my seeds. I placed on order with them on the evening of Saturday, February 20. They shipped the package out Monday and I received it Wednesday February 24. A very impressive time. I have not opened the individual seed packs but I expect the seed to be in very good shape as the appear to be foil envelopes. An invoice was included and the seeds where in the box in the same order that they where on the invoice which made it very easy to confirm that they where all there. Be aware that some of the envelopes are primarily labeled in Italian.
Positive OlgaGarden
Littleton, CO
(8 reviews)
February 9, 2010
Posted on December 5, 2009, updated February 8, 2010
Ordered my seeds on the 2nd of December, received them on the 5th, that's pretty fast!

All the seed packets I ordered were in the box, perfect!

The shipping was a tad on the high side in comparison to some other seed companies, but they make up for it by having interesting varieties of seed.

Great experience, will order again!
On February 9th, 2010, OlgaGarden added the following:

Nice company, interesting varieties. It was my first time ordering and I was not dissapointed, everything I ordered was in the box safe and sound.
Positive 8ntractor
Salem, OR
(2 reviews)
February 7, 2010
This is the second year that I ordered seeds from Gourmet. Like the hard to find seeds, last year had good germination. Have always received fast service when ordering.
Positive marinersway
Eastport, NY
(2 reviews)
January 29, 2010
First time ordering from Gourmet Seed Int'l. Chose to order from them for the unique varieties being offered. Placed my order Sunday January 24th around 11pm, received confirmation Monday by email and my order arrived by priority mail on Wed January 27th. Extremely fast considering they came from New Mexico to New York. All 17 varieties ordered arrived well packed with no mistakes. Excellent service and communication. All seed pack appear high quality but the real test will be germination and growth. Will post again in several months on germination. As for variety and speed of delivery can highly recommend this company.
Positive natureway
Orlando, FL
(2 reviews)
March 31, 2009
Hello, I recently made a negative comment on Gourmet seeds Internationally due to how I was very angry on the past company "Harvest Moon Farms". I was aware they did a merge and honestly thought they would still be in it. I did contact them and thought they wouldnt give me support due to how it might not be their problem but after contacting them
they did help me out!!!

I was able to contact the manager and he was able to help me out with my past problem and i was able to purchase some seeds from them in February and they arrived great, they are of very nice quality and I love the mini greenhouse they have for just eliminated the weak plastic ones you buy in lowes, or other nusurys(burpees, etc)
These should last a long time for me.

Thank you very much Gourmet Seeds, and Please continue giving great customer service, discounts, and gifts as well.
Positive DennInMI
Manistee, MI (Zone 4b)
(5 reviews)
February 7, 2009
I just placed my first order with them last week. Service was certainly excellent, received the order (about $60 worth) 5 days after submitting the order online.

I was pleasantly surprised with how generous the packages seem to be on the seed count. I haven't opened any of them, because they're all plastic, hermetically sealed packets.

I've noticed some of the comments here about about the dating on the packets -- I think a lot of the concern is just a misunderstanding by the customer of the dating system. Many of my packets came with a "packed on" as well as a "use by" date. I don't have any concern about the fact that seed might have been packed a year or so ago, as long as they're still within the "use by" date -- a lot of technology went into the hermetic packaging and special seed preparation prior to packaging to ensure freshness and viability. I used to work at a commercial greenhouse prior to changing careers, and this type of packaging has been pretty standard for commercial grower for a while now, but the retail consumer hasn't been fully educated about it yet, I guess.

So, I'm happy with my order, looking foward to spring sowing of their products, and I'm glad I found a new source of unusual varieties.
Positive Jayryunen
Sapello, NM (Zone 5b)
(1 review)
January 27, 2009
I ordered 'Norli' peas from this company last year, and they delivered my seeds promptly. They were the only company I could find that carried 'Norli', so I was pleased.

I was also tickled that they are right here in NM, my home state. So I was discouraged when I read of the negative experiences others have had with the company, especially as I had just placed this year's seed order with them.

Happily, my seeds arrived today (Tues) after I had ordered them Sat.! I only ordered 6 seed packets from them, but the order is correct. Two of the packets are dated for this year, the others for 2010 or beyond.

As for the remarks about the packaging... 4 of the packets were obviously packaged in Italy. They do things differently in other countries... get over it. If you're a relatively new gardener, the cultivation instructions are in Italian, so maybe this isn't where you want to start? LOL

My one disappointment with this company is... no current catalogue in the box. I haven't received this years catalogue yet, so I was ordering from last years, and I was hoping I'd get a current one in my order. GI, if you want to compete, you've got to get your catalogue out around Xmas... that's when I got Cook's Garden (you're better than they are for European seed selection)

I'll be ordering again... if I can get a catalogue! =o)
Positive tantaw123
Lubbock, TX
(2 reviews)
January 20, 2009
I have had the pleasure of buying form this company for years. I must say that their seeds have been of very good quality and their customer is outstanding! I would gladly recommend this company to any gardener.
Neutral srhelmick
Windsor, CT
(1 review)
December 4, 2008
I've been searching for a "French" Tarragon plant to cook with for quite some time now. When I found I noticed they sold the seeds I'd been looking for so I bought those and a few others to make the shipping and handling worthwhile. Well, shortly after ordering, I started reading a lot of testimony about how you can't get viable seed from a true culinary Tarragon. The appropriate variety you cook with HAS to be cloned. There are a million dissatisfied customers out there who got duped and not one good review anywhere about anyone successfully growing tasteful Tarragon from seed. When I contacted them with my concern this was their reply:

"We do have a test garden where we grow new varieties and periodically check some of our standard varieties, but we depend greatly on the community of growers we have as our customers to help us in our descriptions... To be honest, we've never been in a situation to compare this to other Tarragons."

That doesn't sound like a committed answer. It sounds to me like I just got duped by a snake-oil salesman. If you want a professional seed I would go somewhere else, seeing as the man who responded also made this statement erroneously spelling the plant's common name disrobing whatever faith I had in their knowledge before now:

"The Italian seed supplier we get the Terragon from assures us it is the type you are looking for, but..."

All the controversy and misspellings aside, this company's seeds are advertised to be kept in hermetically sealed envelopes to last longer, yet the Tarragon seed I received expires two months after I received it. Hardly professional. I shouldn't even have to ask for a fresh packet, it should have been a given. The other six packets I recieved all expire next year, which is typical despite the "extra neat-o space packaging". If you ask me, it looks like they buy bulk seed and just seal it themselves.

Further, when I asked customer service to reassure me that this is the variety I wanted (which a professional botanist informed me was the SATIVA variety) they skirted around the issue and told me that they were sure this was the one I wanted and that the nomenclature was dubious all around. What?!?! So now they're telling me that they're sure even though they just informed me that they didn't know, can't even spell it, and relied on customer feedback? Just remember, a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square. This may be the same species of Tarragon, but it is not the culinary variety you would expect from a distributor who goes by the moniker "Gourmet".

They told me then, that if I wanted I could ask for a refund... which I most certainly did because I wouldn't have bought ANY of the seeds from them knowing the Tarragon was the bitter, non-culinary variety. They responded daily to me emails until I asked for my money back, and now I've heard nothing.

If you buy Tarragon from seed, the merchant will tell you the typical lie that "Russian" Tarragon is labeled A. dracunculoides and theirs, A. dracunculus, is the edible kind... which is only half true. Their "edible" Tarragon, A. dracunculus, is not the tasty variety you cook with, rather the plant must be a particular strain identified as "A. dracunculus var. Sativa" to have the essential oils you are looking for!!! So now you know. Don't let it cost you $26.
On December 9th, 2008, srhelmick changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

They did indeed refund my whole order with one request.
Company representative comment on December 5, 2008:

On Dec 4, 2008 5:09 PM, Gourmet Seed International added:

We attempted to answer the questions this customer gave us in several emails, and at every step offered a refund or replacement if the customer was not happy with their purchase. The following is a copy of our latest response where we informed the customer we were issuing a refund:
Dear Customer,
We're sorry to hear that you are dissatisfied with your purchase, but as we have assured you in every communication with you, we continue to be willing to offer a refund or replacement for your purchase.
You are correct in that there does seem to be a lot of confusion on how to classify varieties, and in particular there is a lot of controversy over what truly constitutes 'Russian' or 'French' Tarragon, so that is why we attempted to assure you that although our Italian supplier classifies this product as they do, we are always open to any additional feedback we can get, and we are always willing to offer a refund or replacement if you did not receive what you thought you purchased, or if the product was not up to our normal standards of quality.
A partial answer to your question on the additional designation of 'sativa' is that it is not one the Italians apparently make. Part of the problem is that botanical classification is not uniform nor consistent, which is why so many plants have multiple aliases as botanical names. Not only do resources disagree when discussing the actual ability of Tarragon to produce seed, but they disagree on how to classify the various types, including the 'French' (such as adding the 'var. sativa').
Again, it does not do us any good to try to deceive our customers or refuse to offer a solution if they are not satisfied.
Regardless, you are obviously not happy with your purchase. Although you have not relayed any similar questions or other problems or issues with the rest of the purchase, we will issue a refund for your entire purchase.
We wish you well in your efforts.

Positive farmingsaba
Windwardside, Saba,
Netherlands Antilles
(1 review)
August 18, 2008
This is my second year ordering from Gourmet Seed and I'm pleased with both orders. I'm still using seeds from last year's order too.

Quick turnaround time as they are mailed to my US forwarding address to be airmailed to me here on Saba, Dutch Caribbean.

I like ordering seeds in bulk packaging and the prices are great too!

I would recommend this company to anyone wanting fresh seeds.
Positive pghurbanfarm
Pittsburgh, PA
(1 review)
August 7, 2008
I have ordered from this company for years, (Harvest Moon Farms before?) and it is now the company I buy most of my seeds from. I buy some seeds from Native Seed Search, and sunflowers, potatoes and second crop peas elsewhere, but the rest come from here.
Positive JJFarmer
Lodi, NY
(1 review)
July 21, 2008
I've placed several orders from GSI.
Each time, something is slightly amiss such as wrong size packet/ wrong variety/ forgotten item. In each case the company has corrected the mistake in a fair way, but it's a hassle to have to deal with.
My most recent order was for one 100g packet of seeds and several hand tools (they sell nice quality no-frills tools from Italy that are a much better value that the Chinese garbage peddled by the box stores). The tools all arrived in a timely fashion, but no seeds were enclosed, and no indication of the status was provided (out of stock, back-ordered, or just plain forgotten). An e-mail to customer service was not acknowledged within 1 week, so today I made phone call to CS (again). Helpful as usual, and maybe I'll get the seeds I need for fall planting, but I'm just not sure that it's worth the hassle to have to follow through and get every order corrected...This would be a great company if they were just a little more detail oriented.

On July 21st, 2008, JJFarmer added the following:

I'm sorry to have provoked a defensive response here---as I've said, the company has good customer service. With the exception of their email response (I never got one), I don't dispute GSI's characterization of the transaction---I think this it's consistent with my comment.
This is a good company with nice products and ample customer service, but I do think it's a fair to observe that they have a pattern of not quite getting it right when it comes to order fulfillment (at least for me, but other posts also seem consistent with this).
I have no doubt this wrangling of and reshipping of orders is bad for their bottom line, it's also not a fantastic way to engender customer satisfaction. Gourmet Seed does offer a unique product line and I've been happy with all my purchases so I'll likely continue to order from them and would encourage others to do so. Just don't be surprised if it takes an iteration or two to complete your order.
I'll happily change this rating to positive as soon as I've placed an order or two that come off without a hitch...
On July 24th, 2008, JJFarmer added the following:

A quick follow-up: The missing spinach seeds arrived today. To my astonishment, they are the wrong variety! No note or packing slip was enclosed, so I can't say whether this was a substitution or another mistake. Either way it's bad news since I got a bulk package of a cool weather only variety (one that I coincidently already have seeds of) when what I wanted was a slow-to-bolt variety suitable for getting a jump on the fall crop.
Is there a pattern here?
details, details, details...
For purposes of full disclosure, I've e-mailed GSI's customer service and have not yet heard back. We'll see.
On July 25th, 2008, JJFarmer changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

Another update: Today I received an e-mail confirming another package has been shipped to me. A customer service rep. followed up with a phone call this evening to apologize for the error and inform me that the correct seeds were sent via priority mail (a very nice touch, that I do appreciate)
Again, very good customer service (a rare thing these days). I sincerely hope GSI can work the kinks out of their order fulfillment system. This is a good company and they sell products that can't be found elsewhere. I'll certainly continue to patronize them.
I figure I've probably spent over $100 with this company, but I'd be surprised if they turned a profit on the transactions...I'm changing my rating to positive---at least they'll earn some good feedback from me for all the trouble.

Company representative comment on July 21, 2008:

On Jul 21, 2008 12:26 PM, Gourmet Seed International added:

We thank this customer for his business and apologize for the error in filling his order. Here are the details of this transaction:
He placed the order on 11 July, and it was delivered to him on Thursday afternoon, 17 July. He sent us an email 9:26pm that evening. We responded to his email on Friday morning (apparently he did not receive it) telling him that we would send the missing item right away. It was shipped out that afternoon (Friday 18 July).
The customer called us this morning (Monday 21 July), and as the person answering the phone was not aware of the details, they offered to call back with any information, which they did. However, before they made the call, the customer filed this report.
We erred in filling the customer's order, and for that we are truly sorry. Not only do errors of this type not please the customer, but they cost us greatly in correcting the problem. However, as is true for any merchant, we appreciate it when any customer will give us a reasonable amount of time to respond and fix the problem.
Gourmet Seed International, LLC

Neutral Containerted
Buford, GA
(7 reviews)
July 17, 2008
Online order #05014326
The ordering was easy and the seeds arrived in about 8 days. The counts of mature seeds were good, even though there are a lot of small immature seeds in the packs.

Only one isssue here with my order. The packages were all marked "Untreated". However, the "Moon's Super Bush Beefsteak" seed had a pinkish red coating on them. I'm not real savvy on a lot of this stuff, but I have 93 other tomato seed varieties and none of them are red. So, I have to believe the package was incorrectly marked as "Untreated". Treated or untreated is not a major problem to me, because all I want are enough tomatoes to properly save the seeds from my harvest. The rest are for trading to increase the number of varieties I have to grow from and save seeds.

I'm not really into all that organic stuff, but there are others out there who DO care a great deal. So this comment is for them, plus, I don't like ANY mistakes on correctlly identifying what's inside the package. Surprises are for birthdays. Anyhow, I've already repackaged the seeds to physically fit into my inventory and storage system, and I have thrown the original packaging.

Yes, I will probably order again in the future.

Company representative comment on July 17, 2008:

On Jul 17, 2008 7:20 AM, Gourmet Seed International added:

We thank this customer for their business and their feedback, although we wish they had told us directly of the error so that we could have swiftly corrected it.
Although we make every effort to double check our work and offer quality products and services, we do depend on our customers to notify us immediately of any error on our part or any quality issues they may discover.
We do stand behind the quality of our products and services, and offer a guarantee. As such, we would like to extend an invitation to this customer to contact us for a refund or replacement, since the seed was not to their satisfaction.
Phil Winteregg
Gourmet Seed International, LLC

Positive wooddogs3
Albuquerque, NM
(2 reviews)
March 20, 2008
Last year a friend ordered seed from this company and complained that it "wasn't dated for this year" but had a "use by" date. I bought the seed from her, and nearly every seed germinated. I got good crops and was very satisfied, and ordered from them directly this year. Their selection is excellent and I like the airproof packaging, since I think it's very wasteful to throw away seed that is still in perfect condition.

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