It all started about a month ago when I made Pioneer woman's recipe for Vanilla Bean Scones. When I went to the grocery store to buy the (2) whole vanilla beans that the recipe requires I was blown away by the cost of just two vanilla beans.... it was $11-12.50 and for the most part these beans were bent in two to fit in a small jar and they were a little dried out from being folded up. I began my search for a new vanilla source because after making these amazing scones which taste even better than the Starbucks ones they are named after I knew I would be making this recipe many times over! Well you know how one click leads to another when you are internet surfing, I came upon an amazing vanilla resouce in my own backyard Arizona Vanilla Company! They have a warehouse location that ships their wonderful products anywhere and if you live locally and call ahead you can stop in and buy your products in person! I was in vanilla heaven they have Mexican Vanilla, Hawaiian Vanilla, Madagascar Vanilla, and Tahitian Vanilla. They carry whole beans starting at $1.25 a piece depending on the type of bean you purchase some or more pricey than others, but none of the beans are priced near the cost of the grocery store pricing. Arizona Vanilla Company also carries Ground Vanilla Ground Vanilla which is made by grinding the whole vanilla pod...wow is the smell and flavor intense, this can be used instead of scraping out the inside of a vanilla bean and it is more intense so it takes less! You must check out their site, They are super nice people who got into the business because they were simply frustrated at the price of good vanilla beans and vanilla and didn't think it should cost an arm and a leg to have amazing vanilla to cook with! they have a cool blog on their site too.