"Essex" is an acronym derived from Essential Oils and Extracts, which fairly well describes the focus of Essex Laboratories as a provider of botanically derived natural products. Founded in 1992 in Salem, Oregon, U.S.A. by a team of technical, production and field managers with more than 100 years of combined experience in the essential oil industry.  Essex Labs is crafted as an employee-owned company with a strong commitment to supplying customers with the highest quality essential oils and extracts supported by superior technical service and innovation. Essex specializes in an array of essential oils produced in North America, particularly Peppermint, Spearmint, Dillweed, and Cedar wood.


In 1994, the professional team at Essex joined Cooper Venture to build what is now one of the world's leading suppliers of peppermint leaf. Essex owners Bob Franke, Mark Morlan, and Doug Walker have had key involvement with CORE Botanica since its beginning. The following biographical information displays each of their experience in the industry, beginning with Botanical Director Bob Franke.


Robert Franke is a lifetime resident of the Willamette Valley, with his families roots in Agriculture. He is the father of 2 sons and daughter with his high school sweetheart. Bob is familiar with all mint production areas of the United States and his advice is valued by growers as well as the mint industry at large. He has collaborated on projects both domestic and international.

Professional Experience:

  1996-2010 Botanical Manager at CORE Botanica
  1992-1995 Help Found and Establish Essex Laboratories
  1990-1991 Field Coordination Manager - I.P. Callison & Sons
  1981-1990 Field Production Manager Willamette Valley- I.P. Callison & Sons
  1971-1981 Farm Manager- Mt. Jefferson Farms, Scio, Oregon


Education and Certificates:

    Current Agricultural Consultant License- Oregon Department of Agriculture
  1970-1971 Chemeketa Community College- Associate Science Degree in Forest Products Technology


Mark Morlan has been married to Pamela Morlan for 27 years. Together they have raised 3 daughters and been blessed with 6 grandchildren. Marks career emphasis has always been the promotion, production, and processing of essential oils, as well as the development of new production areas and selection of superior varieties.
Professional Experience:

  1997-2001 Southwest mint research project/ Manager 7,000 acres Setniker Texas Op.
  1993-1996 Production Manager Olsen Seed Inc./ mint leaf liasion CORE Botanica
  1992 Help Found Essex Laboratories
  1985-1991 Central Oregon Manager, I.P Callison & Sons
  1974-1984 Partner/Manager, savory Essence, Inc. Production & Export mint and cherries

Education & Certificates:

  2000 Grant Writing, N.M. State University
  1993 Certified with American Society of Farm Equipment Appraisers
  1985 Licensed Agricultural Consultant- Oregon Department of Agriculture
  1976-1977 Chemeketa Community College- Farm Business Management Program
  1975 Oregon State University- Ag Economy, Crop Production, General accounting


Dr. Doug Walker is a native of the Pacific Northwest, making his home in Napavine, Washington. His circle of friends and influence encompasses a much larger area of the globes. As one of the leading chemists in the essential oil industry he has made major contributions as the chair of the scientific committee, Mint Industry Research Council. Doug has devoted his life to the flavor field not for recognition but for the satisfaction of working with people in a process of meeting their needs and developing lasting relationships.

Professional Experience:

  1992-Present Director Essex labratories, Inc. - dealer for Essential Oils, Extracts and Botanicals
  1988-1981 Research Chemist for I.P. Callison & Sons
  1985-1986 Research Specialist, Michigan State University Establish natural Products Washington State university
  1982-1985 Research Assistantship Monsanto Co. Alkaline Oxidation of Acetovanillone
  1980-1981 Research Assistantship LabbeeMint Co Characterization of Native Spearmint
  1978-1980 Research Assistantship Weyerhaeuser Co. Pyrolysis of Kraft Black Liquor solids
  1981-1982 Teaching Assistantship Wood Chemistry Labratory- Pulp and Paper Technology Laboratory
  1976-1977 Crew Leader U.S. Forest Servise, Hotshot Fire crew


Education & Certificates:

  1985-1987 Appointment: Research Facility- Michigan State university Natural Products Chemistry- East Lansing, Michigan
  1985 University of Washington- Ph.D. Natural Products Chemistry
  1976 Portland State University- B.S degree Biological Sciences