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Meet Grace and Todd Vranac of Harvest Farmacy in Dallas-Fort Worth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Grace and Todd Vranac.

Grace and Todd, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Our story began with both my husband, Todd and I working full time in the corporate world. Thankful for successful careers filled with travel, promotions and a rewarding balance of work-hard-play-hard mentality, my career in commercial real estate hit a bump in the road. My company went through a reorganizational shift and with that change came a new boss. Despite my consistent track record of good performance, she did not believe in me and I endured a year of a manipulative boss who did not want me to succeed. At the time, it was devastating to watch everything crumbling around me and there was nothing I could do. The positive, her challenge gave me inspiration and an entrepreneurial mindset – it inspired me to seek something more than working for a corporation and it ignited creativity and new ideas, something that Todd already had, but I never realized I would need.

With Todd’s entrepreneurial spirit and a lengthy conversation one morning about how amazing elderberry was, we ended up in our kitchen making our first batch of elderberry syrup. At the time, we used dried elderberries to make our first recipe, not realizing that there was a better way. We hit the ground running and decided to purchase the dried berries in bulk, only to run into a small problem. We were in the heart of the flu season and not only was there a shortage of berries, but we quickly realized that we knew nothing about the history of the berries, where they came from, how they were grown, how long they had been in storage and that they were also lacking vital nutrients since they had been dehydrated and stored. This is truly where Chapter 2 starts – our “aha” moment was when we decided to be our own supplier and grow our own fresh elderberries. So, we built an Elderberry Farm in East Texas (outside of Nacogdoches) and became Elderberry Farmers so that we could have fresh elderberries and elderberry juice.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This question made us laugh as we looked back and reminisced about the challenges we faced. We planted our first crop completely wrong and our irrigation system broke during the middle of a terrible drought. What we thought would be our first harvest was actually non-existent. This experience not only humbled us but taught us patience. We took the failed Harvest and made some major decisions to help us move forward, even bigger and better. We have self-funded this entire journey and made the decision to sell our house (we bought an airstream instead), invest in planting machinery, drill a new water well, install a state of the art irrigation system that promotes water conservation and completely redo our strategy for planting by nutrient testing the soil and strategically picking the field with perfect soil conditions that elderberries can thrive in. It hasn’t been an easy journey and farming will humble anyone. It’s an experience that we have truly cherished.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Harvest Farmacy – what should we know?
We founded Harvest Farmacy on the core belief that food is medicine and we created an immune support supplement that cultivates wellness. We took it one step further by growing and harvesting our own elderberries to ensure the best quality ingredient for our product. Our product, the Elderberry Wild Cider contains Elderberry Juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, Cherry Juice, Manuka Honey and Spices that all work together to create a natural health remedy. The fresh elderberry juice and apple cider vinegar combination contains powerful anti-viral properties and is loaded with vital nutrients to help support the immune system. We love taking 1 tsp of our Elderberry Wild Cider daily for continued immune support.

What sets us apart is that we never use dehydrated elderberries or add water to our product. We only use fresh-pressed elderberry juice in our Elderberry Wild Cider Recipe along with immune-boosting and supporting ingredients. We are embracing the #knowyourfarmer movement. We want to be fully transparent and we want our customers to know where their elderberries came from and how they were grown. We are Elderberry Farmers. We believe we grow our berries better than organic standards. We do not use any pesticides, herbicides or fungicides on our crops. We farm with integrity and we are proud to hold ourselves to such a high standard. Being able to share our elderberries with everyone has been the most rewarding experience by far. We literally rooted and planted ourselves into this farm and seeing our hard work finally come to life and into a beverage form for everyone to enjoy is hard to put into words. It’s an experience we will never forget and one that we wake up everyday looking forward too.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Our dedication to cultivating wellness with real ingredients made by nature. We planted, we harvested and we cultivated Harvest Farmacy through perseverance and dedication to bringing our customers a superior product now and in the future.

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Image Credit:
Grace Vranac

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