Respect Your Elderberries: A Local Round Rock Mom Shares Her Passion for Wellness
Written by Addie Gross
This article was originally published in the Summer 2021 Issue of Round the Rock Magazine. For the full issue, click here.
Lyndsay McLeod is a local mom who founded her business on the premise of neighbors helping neighbors. With a love for her community and a passion for wellness, she shared a jar of her homemade elderberry syrup to a neighbor. And thus, her business soon took off. She loves to enlighten others on the benefits of healing herbs and elderberries and we had the pleasure of interviewing Lyndsay to learn a little bit more about Respect Your Elderberries.
Can you tell us a little bit about your business (syrups) and how they are beneficial? What exactly does elderberry do?
Most people recognize elderberry as a natural cold and flu remedy. I personally started using it when my oldest was just over a year old and came down with her first fever. The doctor told us it was just a virus and there wasn’t much to be done about it, other than letting it run its course. We tried elderberry and noticed she improved rather quickly, and we’ve been using it ever since. My kids are now the inspiration for all of my products, like our Drift Away Drops and our Shut The Cough Up Syrups and Drops which both work beautifully!
Why and how did you start Respect Your Elderberries?
A neighbor posted on our neighborhood Facebook page that they were sick and wanted to get their hands on some elderberry syrup. I had actually just made a batch that day so I offered her some of mine. After that I decided to offer it on Next Door on a whim, to see if there was interest in my community. The post exploded and that day I decided to start Respect Your Elderberries, and we’ve been going strong ever since.
What’s the difference between your syrup and store-bought brands?
When you’re looking for a health product, you really want every single ingredient to be beneficial to your health in some way. For example, the syrup you will find in stores in most likely sweetened with glucose, fructose, or cane syrup. We use raw, local honey in our syrups. We never expose the honey to heat because we want to preserve those beneficial live enzymes. Store bought syrups also contain thickeners, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors.
You also have a cough syrup and sleep syrup. Can you tell us about those?
I am so proud of both of these formulas! As most of us probably know, viruses are typically accompanied by a lot of mucus, which often leads to coughing. Coughing can actually be a very beneficial function meant to clear mucus from your airways. Our formula works with your body to encourage a productive cough by loosening mucus when needed or helps quell a cough if it is simply due to irritation.
The Drift Away Drops have been an absolute life saver for me. My daughter had the hardest time sleeping when she was younger. I knew she was tired and wanted to sleep but just couldn’t quite get there. I formulated this product for her hoping it would help to relax her enough to encourage a restful nights sleep and it has performed beautifully for us.
What new products are you working on?
We have a couple of new products we are working on and one that we are just now introducing! We have had a lot of requests at our farmers market for a cocktail mixer so we decided to give the people what they want. With all of the success that our ice cream flavor at Lick experienced, we knew the first cocktail mixer flavor had to be Elderberry Mojito. Just add rum and sparkling water and you’re set! It’s perfectly refreshing for Summer and I often use it as a water flavoring during the day. My kiddos love it too!
You have been featured in Lick Ice Cream TWICE now! Congratulations! What’s another non traditional way to use your syrup?
I did an event once with a CBD Honey company, and they used our BerryUp Syrup to make a CBD infused syrup for French toast. I had never had it that way before but it was so good! In the colder months, I really enjoy using the BerryUp Syrup in place of honey for a Hot Toddy.
What was it like making the leap to start your own business?
It felt natural to me, but that may have been because I had no idea what was in store for us. It’s a lot of work and I’ve learned that there’s still so much to learn. Fortunately, every step of the journey has been fulfilling, albeit challenging.
What has been your proudest moment since starting your business?
Every time somebody tells me how much my products have helped them, I am absolutely elated. I formulated these products myself, so to hear that what I created is contributing to somebody’s wellness, well that’s just the best feeling ever.
What advice would you give yourself just starting out, knowing what you know now?
That’s a tough one because I will say, owning your own business is much harder than I realized. Had I known it was going to be this difficult, I might not have started. I’m actually grateful that I was a bit naïve!
Where do you sell your products?
We sell through our website (https://www.respectyourelderberriesatx.com/), local farmers markets, and a few locally owned grocery stores and pharmacies. You can find us at Texan Pharmacy, Mi Mundo Coffee House, Hyde Park Market, and Clearfork Market in Hudson Oaks. We plan to keep expanding so hopefully soon it will be easily accessible to everyone in the Austin area.
What do you like most about living in Round Rock?
Diversity and individuality are celebrated and respected here. You get that eclectic Austin vibe without the traffic!
It’s the weekend: what are you and your family doing for fun?
We are such homebodies! Saturdays typically consist of brunch and then laying by the pool. And then of course, the farmers market on Sundays.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish. It was actually when I was studying abroad in Peru that I realized my love for herbs as medicine. There was a woman sitting on the floor in the middle of a market surrounded by fresh herbs. Our guide told us that people would come to her with their ailments, she would give them their herbs to take home, and have them come back in a few days to reassess. I thought that was the coolest thing I’d ever seen and really fell in love with plant medicine right then and there.
More information can be found at: https://www.respectyourelderberriesatx.com