It all started with the Baobab tree

Our Story

This is a true story about indigenous crops not widely known to the outside world. It is the story of a naturopathic doctor and a botanist-humanitarian, and their driving desire to make the world a better place. It is the story about how they came to know the potential of Lost Crops to promote health, beauty, community and the environment.

Inspired by the Baobab tree, we traveled to Northern Ghana and visited local communities who have cherished the Baobab for centuries. Baobab (bao-bab), the Tree of Life, grows wild throughout the African Savanna. While Baobab’s benefits are recognized as a part of the local diet, its economic potential has never been pursued in this region.

Kaibae = “Hello, how are you? Are you well?”

 The Kaibae language is the language of living in a better place — from personal care to global concern: authentic, ethical, educational, beneficial, economical and regenerative. The Kaibae journey strengthens the connection among people, the planet, and the products that support a natural, beautiful life.



Kaibae founders

Kaibae founders (left to right) Tom Cole, Barbara Berger Maes and Dr. Luc Maes

The Naturopathic Doctor 
With 30 years of experience in plant-based medicine and the natural products industry, and as Director of the Maes Center for Natural Health Care clinical practice, Dr. Luc has an abiding interest and keen insight into understanding health and skincare, real consumer needs and best practices product development. His private research includes the study of medicinal plants throughout Africa, Central and South America. His public interest fuels his desire to take what he learns and share it in a global view towards solutions for people and the planet. 

The Botanist Humanitarian
With more than 25 years embedded in sustainable agriculture, human livelihoods, community development and humanitarian response work across Sub-Saharan Africa, Thomas is uniquely positioned to develop working solutions to every part of the supply chain. Currently at work as an agroecology and drought management advisor for global USAID food security programs, Thomas has a close-up perspective of the needs of these communities and the ability to create and build networks of opportunity for all. Aptly, Thomas is responsible for Kaibae supply chain management and community relations and is Dr. Luc’s trusted travel companion across the globe. 

The Curator 
With 30 years experience in advertising, marketing and business development, Barbara’s keen “eye” captures unique properties and experiences in health and beauty. Barbara’s journey includes work as a curator and project manager for the cities of Chicago and Portland’s 1% for the Arts Public Programs. She manages the administration of the Maes Center for Natural Health Care in Santa Barbara alongside her husband, Dr. Luc and together they are a natural couple of global conscientious citizens. Barbara is responsible for new business relations, day-to-day operations and for content development for the Kaibae Lost Crops company. 

What Are Lost Crops? 

Baobab Superfrood Tree with pods Cacay fruit on the tree Kaibae algae


Pure - Wildcrafted, as nature intended, not modified by man. Potent - Inherently powerful, nutrient dense, and highly effective. Wild - Resilient crops naturally thriving for centuries in some of the world's toughest environments.

Kaibae’s Lost Crops are untapped natural resources that grow freely and abundantly in the wild. Once lost to the world, they have been found and harvested by Kaibae for their powerful benefits to wellness and skincare. Our work brings value to these underutilized  plants, improves livelihoods of the local communities, protects the environment, and delivers healthy, effective products to market.  

Learn more about the benefits of these botanicals

Sustainable & Ethical 

Kaibae is an ethical business whose team has extensive experience in sustainable agriculture, food security, healthcare and community development. We work in regions where natural resources are abundant and poverty is widespread. The people in these communities have few opportunities for economic development outside of subsistence agriculture. Our direct relationships for harvesting these wild crops in a regenerative and ethical manner offers communities a new and ongoing source of revenue to improve their livelihoods and promote environmental stewardship.