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Meet Katherine Todd of Prickly Paradise Elderberry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katherine Todd.

Hi Katherine, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I got started with elderberry when my grandmother mentioned it when I was telling her about my two young boys getting sick again. She suggested we try elderberry syrup to cut down on the constant coughs and sniffles. I had never heard of it before but I was hopeful it could help us from being sick all the time. I have always been interested in plants, foraging, and using herbs and wild plants in the kitchen but had not ventured into plants for healing. Elderberry really appealed to me because it has such a long tradition of use in the kitchen and for health. The only problem was that my kids didn’t like the store bought syrup. It was expensive, full of refined sugar, and tasted like yucky medicine. That’s where the journey really stared for me to come up with a syrup my family loved, had better quality ingredients, and was affordable. The idea spread from there as more friends and family were interested. Right before Covid hit, we decided to offer it to our community. The response was incredible and we’ve been on a roll since then. Now you can find our line-up of elderberry syrups, teas, and gummies at farmer’s markets around Tucson and various shops in town.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
We started this business a month before Covid hit in Feb of 2020. We had no idea what to expect when things started to shut down and quarantines went into effect. There were several moments of doubt and wondering if we should shut down as well. What kept us going was the need for natural immune supports during such an unprecedented time. A few weeks into business we were getting orders from all over the US. We knew we had to keep going and things worked out. We began doing contact-less deliveries and found ways to help people while staying safe as well.

We’ve been impressed with Prickly Paradise Elderberry, 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?
We believe nature connection is fundamental to a healthy life. The tradition of nature connection, connection to place, and how to use local plants for food and medicine is a tradition that is dying. We strive to keep this knowledge alive and help modern families learn how to use natural remedies in their lives. Elderberry is such a great place to start with natural remedies because it is safe, effective, and has an incredibly long tradition of use in many cultures. When we learn how to use local plants for food and healing, then we form a connection to our environment and in turn care for our environment better. We strive to pass along this knowledge and help people access natural remedies with elderberry products. As a brand, we operate with integrity as our driving force. We get to look our customers in the eye and talk to them about how we make their products and what goes into it. That is something you don’t get very often when you purchase commercially made products. Because we’re a small business with less overhead and huge distribution costs, we’re able to offer a better quality product for a lower cost. We love teaching people about elderberry and how to live a more nature connected life.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
If you’re interested in learning more about elderberry and the delicious teas, syrups, and gummies we offer you can find us on our website If you’re in the Tucson area come see us at one of our regular Heirloom Farmer’s Markets or stores. You can find our products locally at these locations: Food Conspiracy Co-op 412 N 4th Ave. Tucson, AZ 85705 Udall Park Farmer’s Market Fridays 9-1 7202 E. Tanque Verde Rd. Tucson, AZ 85714 St. Phillip’s Plaza Market Saturdays 9-1 4280 N. Campbell Ave. Tucson, AZ 85718 Rillito Park Farmer’s Market Sundays 9-1 4502 N 1st Ave. Tucson, AZ 85718 Third and Survey Shopping Society 317 S 3rd St Tombstone, AZ 85638.

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