Matthias Reisen, owner of Healing Spirits Herb Farm near Avoca, New York, has discovered the profitable potential of elderberries. During the harvest season, which lasts around four weeks, Reisen picks the berries and turns them into various products that have gained significant popularity in the market. One of the most popular products is elderberry syrup, known for its potential in combating cold and flu symptoms. Elderberry products, including syrups and extracts, have become a booming $320 million business, thanks to the berries’ rich vitamin and antioxidant content, which many believe boosts the immune system.
At Healing Spirits Apothecary, the berries are dried for approximately a week before being transformed into the various products available for sale. Andrea Reisen, Matthias’ wife, is primarily responsible for creating the mixtures. She highlights that people not only purchase elderberry products for their health benefits but also for the nostalgia associated with them. Elderberry remedies have been passed down through generations, and many individuals feel a connection to their ancestors through their use.
The demand for elderberry products experienced a surge during the pandemic, prompting the Reisens to plant additional elderberry bushes each year to keep up. However, their motivation behind their business is not solely financial. Andrea Reisen, referring to herself as a caregiver, emphasizes her enjoyment in taking care of others, whether they are her own children or customers seeking the benefits of elderberries. She is glad that more people are discovering the magic of elderberries and hopes that this newfound awareness will continue to grow.