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Inspiring Conversations with Divya Yoder of Original Elderberry Co.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Divya Yoder

Divya, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I am a lover of and advocate for all-natural products. As a mother to two young boys, I wanted a natural health product to help cure common ailments but was unable to find one locally that was palatable and effective in boosting immunity. I was already disheartened by the general overuse of antibiotics in this country and became further wearied by the prevalence of artificial and impure products on the market.

After doing my own research, I decided to challenge myself by creating my own recipe to have a real hand in providing a healthy remedy for my family. Leaning heavily on the ancient and time-tested medicinal remedies from my native India, I created a salubrious blend using pure ingredients, such as Ceylon cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and local raw honey. In addition to being powerfully curative, both of my boys love the taste of our elderberry products. Now, not only have these products made a huge impact on our entire family but our local community as well.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Starting a business is always challenging, regardless of your intentions and knowledge of the market. I started the Original Elderberry Company because I wanted to share these products with my local community and because I wanted the personal challenge of building something from the ground up. The biggest obstacle so far was the emergence of COVID-19, which effectually caused our products to skyrocket. At first, the business struggled to maintain any inventory at all, and the increase in the cost of elderberries significantly altered prior working capital levels. It was definitely a learning experience, and I have since become a member of the Elderberry Trade Association – I am grateful to have the additional knowledge and support from our counterparts all over the country. Even though this business has had its challenges, I’m happy to say that, overall, it has been a smooth, upward trajectory.

We’ve been impressed with Original Elderberry Co., but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Original Elderberry Co. brand focuses on all-natural, organic products targeted to boost the immune system. Each ingredient is selected intentionally for its benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants and vitamins, and much more. Original Elderberry Co. prides itself on not using any artificial sweeteners or refined sugars, like other similar products in the market – our Elderberry Syrup contains local, raw honey, which not only deliciously sweetens but helps fight allergies as well. And it’s only 3 grams of sugar per tablespoon!

The health of our customers is what we care about, which is why each and every ingredient is chosen with such care. Not only has our Syrup been tested and nutritional facts acquired, but we have streamlined our production process to ensure that every single one of our products meets all safety measures and standards. This change to our process has definitely improved efficiency so that we are able to meet the needs of our customers. In addition to our Elderberry Syrup, we also carry Elderberry ON.THE.GO. This is a concentrated version of our Syrup that’s a convenient way for our customers to never miss out on the benefits of elderberry. This product does not have to be refrigerated and is good for all ages above six months, whereas our Syrup is good for those over a year old. We’re just excited and happy that we can offer different products for every person’s needs!

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
For me, I would have to say that my success stems from my upbringing and family. I was born in the United Kingdom and came to the United States at a very young age. My parents started their own business after arriving and were truly living out the American Dream for a time. However, not too long after that, their business venture failed, and that quickly changed our immigration status – having the threat of being forced out of the only country you’ve ever know is a different level of worry that I would never wish on anyone. It really does affect the decisions you make and the freedoms you allow yourself. After witnessing my parents’ trials and tribulations, I never thought in a million years I would have my own company today.

Rewinding to 2010, I met a Midwesterner named Peter. I quickly fell in love with… and by quickly, I mean we met, got engaged and married within nine months! A few years later, we had our two boys, along with a whole new set of worries. Peter and my parents really pushed me when it came to starting the business – they not only gave me the courage and drive but the reason. When I think about what’s really important to me, it all comes back to family and life quality. Everything I do is for my family. I want my parents, who have never felt true security, to know that they will be well cared for. I want my husband to be selective in his career and choose to work based on what he wants to do and not how much he should make. I want my children to be healthy, appreciate hard work, and understand that being born in the United States is a privilege not to be taken for granted. So, in summary, absolutely my family is the most important thing contributing to my success.

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Image Credits:

Chanelle Sinclair
Ushna Khan

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