A huckleberry lemonade product, manufactured by Gem Berry Products of Sandpoint, Idaho is featured in the “Entertaining Special’ holiday issue of “People” Magazine, on newsstands now through Christmas (2013).
Harry Menser, 82, and co-owner of Gem Berry, announces that their eight-year-old “Huckleberry Lemonade Concentrate” was selected as the sole Idaho representative for ‘People magazine’s — Food Gifts from Every State” feature article, on page 70.
According to Menser, a retired University of Idaho horticulturist, “People” magazine contacted the company via their GemBerry.com website in September, asked for samples, and approved the Gem Berry entry in October.
He added, that “the concentrate is made of pure wild huckleberry juice squeezed from Idaho huckleberries in small batches; then combined with 100% pure lemon juice, and sweeteners”.
The product comes in a 12-ounce “wine-shaped” bottle, with a colorful label, featuring a graphic of a bush with rich purple berries and a lemon. Combined with a gold shrink band, and decorative hang tag, the presentation is “striking”, Menser said, and is “very popular for holiday parties or gift giving”.
According to the label, users of the tangy, sweet beverage may dilute with two parts water to one part product.
However, “most people tell us that 3 to 1 – water to concentrate – works even better”, Menser said.
Common uses for the huckleberry lemonade include just using it as a drink – per label instructions – or as part of a holiday punch with ice cream and sparkling cider. A large number of people also use it as a unique and delicious mixer for spirits, he added.
The huckleberry lemonade was the last recipe – in a long line – designed by Elizabeth O’Brien before her passing in 2004. Elizabeth and her husband Jack, were also founding owners of Gem Berry, in partnership with Menser and his late wife, Betty. Harry is the sole remaining member of the original foursome.
Gem Berry is still owned half by Menser, and half by the O’Brien estate.
Jack and Elizabeth O’Brien’s daughter, Mary, now runs the processing operation for Gem Berry.
Gem Berry, founded in 1993 (20 years ago) sells wild huckleberry, red raspberry, and wild blueberry products both at retail, and wholesale to retail stores and food service.
Huckleberry products, including jam, syrup, sugar free spread, honey, barbecue sauce, cordials, and taffy, are their biggest sellers.
Gem Berry is located at the Bonner Business Center (BBC) and was a charter client of the BBC Kitchen in 1993.
Products may be purchased online at http://www.GemBerry.com or by calling Sandy in customer service at (888) 231-1699.