When I moved to the Asheville area in 2011, I started exploring ways to connect my passion for fun, healthy, and nutritious food with the community. My initial project was a roving food truck which can be still be seen at events and festivals during the spring, summer and autumn months.
As I continued to delve deeper into my connection with food and local folk wisdom, I learned about the elderberry, including two varieties common to our area – the American elderberry (Sambucus Canadensis) and European elderberry (Sambucus Nigra). This lovely perennial grows small, deep purple berries which were traditionally cooked into tasty jellies, pies, drinks and wine.
This remarkable plant also has a longstanding history of medicinal use and even the famed Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, knowingly referred to the fruits as “nature’s medicine chest.” That’s likely because elderberries are rich in Vitamin C, packed with antioxidants and cytokine modulators, and contain antiviral and antibacterial properties which are said to support the immune system and contribute to an overall sense of well-being – especially when taken during the winter cold and flu season. And it’s not just humans that love elderberry, the white fragrant flowers and berries of this shrub are a beneficial pollen and food source for our resident pollinators and birds too!
Inspired by this plant and its versatility, I started to brew Elderberry Syrup for myself and my family. It was so tasty, soon my neighbors and friends were asking for it too. After I hosted a wildly successful Elderberry Syrup fundraiser for my son’s school in 2018, I knew that I wanted to share this tasty and nutritious natural food with my community in a larger way and Brew Naturals was born!
I’m excited about continuing to craft a variety of snacks and beverages with these delightful elderberries and look forward to sharing them with you!
Samara Mendel Price
Founder, Brew Naturals