Health Junkie Holds #1 Spot at Heinen’s in Elderberry Syrup for 2nd Year!

Central Kitchen Member and Health Junkie Owner, Nicole Lazar, shares why she started her elderberry syrup business, her mission and how she went from start-up to category leader in two years—and is holding strong!

Why did you start Health Junkie Elderberry?

In 2016, an ill friend visited while I was pregnant. Knowing I was particularly susceptible, I did everything I could to boost my immune system: lots of kale in my green smoothies, extra vitamin C, and I also took the plunge to try something new: Elderberry Syrup.

Searching store shelves, I was frustrated that every elderberry product I found was loaded with processed sugar and other additives. With a background in holistic health, I knew I could make something more wholesome. I got to work, and Health Junkie Elderberry Syrup was born.

My family started enjoying my incredibly delicious homemade recipe daily. Soon after, my go-to elixir became popular with friends, family and even friends of friends. Elderberry has a powerful reputation, especially through cold and flu season. Seeing a need for a wholesome Elderberry Syrup, I launched Health Junkie into stores and farmer’s markets, where it could nourish new families.

Today, I’m the proud founder of an incredible wellness product handcrafted with love in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s my privilege to share it with you and your family on your wellness journey.


What is your business mission? 

Our mission at Health Junkie is to promote true wellness from the inside out, nourishing bodies and minds. We’re fed up with the trend of covering up symptoms with medications.

Health Junkie Elderberry Syrup has been carefully formulated by myself, a holistic health practitioner, to synthesize the benefits of wholesome, organic ingredients without the fillers and junk (processed sugar, artificial colors and flavors, and other additives). I pledge a 100% clean ingredient list, always.

Our Elderberry Syrup is handcrafted with love and designed to support the health of you and your family.


How did you go from start-up to #1 in your category in two years?

As a part time stay at home mom and part time entrepreneur, growing has been a constant balancing act! My kids have accompanied me to Craft Food Classroom classes, farmer’s markets, and countless deliveries.

With limited time to dedicate to Health Junkie, the key pieces in my speedy growth have been education, engaging with customers and partnership with Central Kitchen.

Many people have heard Elderberry Syrup is beneficial, and some are familiar with the studies where elderberry supplements have cut colds and flu. Sharing why people rely on elderberry and the different yummy ways they can incorporate it into their daily routine helps people take the leap to try something new – and the delicious, high quality product creates raving fans!

Second, I connect with current and potential customers whenever I can. You’ll find me at farmer’s markets every week: connecting, sampling and sharing so that when customers are ready for a refill, they can find more at their local Heinen’s store.

Partnering with Central Kitchen has been instrumental in launching and growing my business. From the Craft Food Classroom and using their shared commercial ‘Incubator’ kitchen space, to leaning on their expertise in food safety and regulation, their resources and support have been a large part of Health Junkie’s success, for which I’m incredibly grateful.


You can learn more about Nicole and her products, purchase Health Junkie elderberry syrup online or find a convenient retailer.