Julie and her partner Alicia are originally from New Fairfield and moved to Bethel in 2018 with their children. At the time, Julie had been a kindergarten teacher at Berry Elementary School for a few years. She loved the community and families she worked with, so she knew she and Alicia wanted to raise their family in this quaint and welcoming town. They quickly fell in love with the feel of downtown Bethel, including the restaurants, local small businesses, and community events it had to offer.  

Julie started making elderberry syrup after she had their first baby and was returning to work after maternity leave. She had been looking for a natural and effective way to proactively keep her family healthy when her pediatrician recommended elderberry syrup. She found it a challenge to find syrup with good, simple, quality ingredients. There are many out there, but they have artificial ingredients, additives, and unnecessary, junky sweeteners. She officially launched J’s Homemade in 2018 when she was 8 months pregnant with their second child.

Her business has taken off and is now available in several Bethel stores such as Molten Java, Caraluzzi’s, Holbrook Farm, as well as many other stores, farms, and farmer’s markets throughout Fairfield and Litchfield Counties and as far away as Bergdorf Goodman in NYC. See a full location list on their website linked above and below.

Photo credit: MW Photography, Washington Depot, CT.

Elderberry comes from a shrub and has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Studies show that it has been used to support immune health and has been known to reduce cold and flu symptoms when taken early on. During this time when we are all trying to stay as healthy as possible, elderberry syrup and gummies have become very popular as an organic alternative that can be trusted for your entire family. The reason that elderberries work so well is because of their antioxidants, vitamin C, and other nutrients. It can be part of your daily wellness regimen. In addition to the syrup, J’s Homemade makes gummies that are certified organic, vegan, and gluten free and made with little ones in mind. As with introducing any new health product to you and your family, it is always best to check with your pediatrician or general practitioner to make sure it is right for you based on other medications you may be taking.

J’s Homemade syrup is made from organic ingredients, with no preservatives and includes local raw honey. It is made using a small batch process which allows for greater quality control. J’s Homemade products can also be purchased and shipped directly to you from their website www.jshomemade.com. You will also find Julie’s blog there, which offers recipe ideas and common uses for the syrup. Some fun uses for elderberry syrup are in smoothies, popsicles, hot steamed beverages, and adult cocktails! Follow them on Facebook and Instagram. If you have any questions about their products, they can also be reached through this contact form on their website.

Supporting specialized local providers is part of what makes living in Bethel unique. We wish J’s Homemade continued success!

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