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Stephanie Rickenbaker on why Sweet’s Syrup is a health must-have

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

What is Sweet’s Syrup?

It’s an immune boosting elderberry syrup. It can be used as a preventative or when you feel like you’re coming down with something. Everything is organic. It’s made from elderberries, raw local honey, Ceylon cinnamon, ginger and cloves.

Why did you create Sweet’s?

My husband was diagnosed with leukemia seven years ago, a month after we were married. Thankfully, he has a type that’s chronic but treatable, and he’s doing well, but it got me thinking about the connection between diet and disease. We started eating an organic, mostly plant based diet. I make my own non-toxic cleaning supplies. I try not to use plastic. With everything I buy now, I think about the connection.

Why elderberries?

Elderberries are powerful antioxidants. I researched natural remedies and found out that elderberry syrup is an old folk remedy. Hippocrates even talked about. I started making it for my family, and we all really liked it and hardly ever got sick anymore.

What are the benefits of Sweet’s?

It helps fight allergies, colds and the flu.

Why is the raw, local honey so important?

It’s key, because the honey produced is seasonal, and fights what’s currently blooming in Charlotte. If you start taking the syrup about two weeks before you normally get any symptoms, you might be able to avoid them. It has to be raw because whenever honey is pasteurized it kills the live enzymes and the benefits.

Did you create Sweet’s with a business in mind?

No, I just made it for my family at first. Then I put a posting on the Charlotte Moms in Charge Facebook page, just to see if anyone was interested. I got 130 orders from that one post. Then I started getting messages saying “This helps my allergies,” or “This is awesome, my kids love it and they haven’t gotten sick.”

The glass bottle packaging is beautiful, did you put a lot of thought into packaging design?

Yes. I designed the label myself. My sister is a graphic designer, so she took the picture I drew and did it on the computer. I knew I wanted an apothecary feel, and I also like the craft brown label. It just all came together in my head and my sister put it all together for me.

What size does the syrup come in?

I have two sizes, the eight-ounce and the pint.

You’re currently in 12 retailers. How has it been getting into stores?

My first retailer was Berrybrook Farms. The people there are so awesome. The buyer looked at my first bottle and gave me some packaging advice. I followed her suggestions and she said, “Let’s try it.” They’ve been blown away by how quickly they blow through it all. All of my retailers are so cool. It’s been so fun building those relationships.

Is there anywhere else you sell it?

I have an Etsy store, and I’m also in the big Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. That’s every Saturday starting in September.

So besides being good for you, is there anything you want people to know about Sweet’s?

It tastes good!

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Allison Futterman is a freelance writer, who has been published in print and online. She can be reached at



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