Distribution company supplies elderberries and herbs in bulk to niche markets
Graystone Distribution is a USA based company providing import and distribution services of companies seeking high-grade raw materials such as Organic Berries and Herbs to manufacture their food products.
The founder, Tony Brink, has a strong history of nutrition and health & wellness primarily due to an accident that nearly took his life. While he was leaving a facility a metal gate crashed on the bag of his head, leaving him unconscious with a severe traumatic brain injury. This later led to a mini-stroke and he had to learn to eat, walk, talk, and see straight again. The therapy took several months as the doctors and occupational therapists were stating that he’d be in this damaged state for what would likely be the rest of his life. With deep determination and his no-quitter attitude, he politely disagreed with them, and took the recovery to extremes. When he wasn’t doubling down on the exercise to recover his site, balance, speech, and mental endurance, he lived in pure darkness and would meditate for hours everyday. This allowed his brain to repair without over-stimulus (basically scratching your wound if you’re active) and he made a miraculous recovery.
Tony is now the healthiest, strongest, and most agile he has been in his entire life. He continues to optimize his body and brain through biohacking and naturopathic methods. According to his blood results, he is actually aging backwards!
This level of mentality, resilience, and strength is what poised this man to go on to create multiple businesses in the health space to help serve others in need.
Graystone Distribution began 5 years ago when the now common elderberry was still quiet and unknown to the masses. The elderberry primarily came from Europe and was of low supply in the US, and with very poor quality dried elderberries that business use to make nutraceuticals and syrups. During 2016-2017, the founder of Graystone Distribution discovered elderberry gummies along with dried elderberries that come from the sambucus nigra elderberry tree. He took immediate interest in this humble superfruit as it provides ultimate immune support, strength and antioxidants to ward off germs, infections, and free radicals.
With a superfruit as affordable as the elderberry, the founder set out to understand the market and why it has such low supply in the United States. He realized that it is difficult to source, process, and manage since no one had a proper production and supply chain in place to manufacture bulk elderberries in very high quality. He partnered directly with farms who had some, but not much, experience with elderberries. He explained his dream to develop the perfect European Black Elderberry to produce in mass quantities to be resold in bulk, that the end manufacturers would easily enjoy.
Tony pointed out all of the things that were wrong with other suppliers and their berries. Many were just loaded with stems and unripe berries, which is dead weight and has to be discarded as unripe elderberries are poisonous and lack nutritional value. So, he found a way to filter out the unripe elderberries and stems from the elder berry try production line before packaging.
A big problem that many elderberry syrup makers and dietary supplement manufacturers face is when they buy bulk elderberries or any wholesale raw material to find many stems and unripe berries that are of no use. Some elderberry stems and unripe berries are poisonous and useless, making their order from their elderberry wholesaler a worse deal than they presumed. The manufacturer then has to pay labor hours and workers to clean or sort the elderberries or raw materials again to remove debris before production, otherwise they may very well end up with a low quality product that does not sell well in the market, and ultimately reflects poorly on the brand. So, limiting debris creates value, efficiency, quality, and trust in the customers!
Next up was the issue of the smell and taste. Often bulk dry elderberries end up smelling like a campfire or smokey because they were dried too fast or for too long, making them smell burned. When fruit like elderberry is burned, it loses its nutritious value, and no longer provides the needed antioxidant and immune support power people need in their vitamin regimen! So, the dried process had to be controlled to a perfect science to dehydrate the elderberries without over-drying or burning them. This would maintain the fruit aromatic smell and taste so that when elderberry syrup makers made their sambucus elderberry syrup at home or in their kitchens, it tasted and smelled fruity for their customers!
Taste is incredibly important when dealing with superfuits as a lot of these immune support supplements, beverages, and vitamins are given to children. Many parents can attest to the difficulty in getting their toddlers or preteens to take vitamins everyday without a fight. Should the nutriment be more of a treat for the kids, then kids love multivitamins and will enjoy their treats everyday.
And finally, the supply volume. He made deals early on with elderberry farms to acquire their stock and encourage larger production the follower harvests in order to increase and scale supply in order to flood the market with the highest quality European Black Elderberries in the USA. Even during the height of the pandemic when inventory was flying off the shelf and people could not stay in stock, GD helped their customers continue to supply to their communities at their highest capacity available. Many of those brands are now strong family-owned businesses that are sustaining the recession due to their agility during the covid pop. Talk about being in the right time at the right place, with the right people!
To add the finishing touch, GD was able to help its partner in Europe get the USDA Organic Certificate in order to make these powerful elderberries 100% Certified Organic! Talk about raising the bar and shaking up the market!!!
Graystone Distribution went on to carve out a nice piece of the elderberry market just in time for the covid pop and pandemic of 2020, which results in 10-20x increase in demand for consumer products like elderberry capsules, elderberry syrup, elderberries dried, and elderberry drinks. As Dr. Oz mentioned that everyone takes Zinc, Vitamin C, and Elderberry on national television, Tony was at the forefront of this explosion.
He knew this humble superfruit would take serious demand someday, and he wanted to ensure infrastructure was in place to make this possible with the highest yield, and happy customers. Now Sambucus Nigra Elderberry is all over the country and many homes use these products everyday to boost their immune systems through seasonal allergies and cold/flu season.
While GD continues to distribute bulk elderberries and an elderberry wholesale supplier in USA, they also sell other items like USDA Organic Dried Aronia Berries, USDA Organic Dried Rose Hips, USDA Organic Dried Nettle Root, USDA Organic Dried Nettle Leaf, USDA Organic Dried Raspberry Leaf, USDA Organic Dried Juniper Berries, USDA Organic Dried Elderflowers, and now corn starch, potato starch, tapioca starch, and others during this shift in supply and demand.
Based on the ability to close a gap in a quiet market and help the elderberry market explode, Tony and his team are able to do the same for other materials such as corn starch when economic issues flip a supply chain upside down. With a keen sense of where markets are headed, and sustainable supply may come from, they can quietly close the gap when markets develop cracks following macroeconomic misfortunes.
Due to the war in Ukraine and Russia, the supply of modified corn starch and native corn starch suppliers is limited while demand continues to skyrocket. With this imbalance, Graystone jumped on the opportunity to help solve the corn starch sourcing issues for many large corporations, and is actively a USA supplier of corn starch potato starch and cassava tapioca starch to other businesses. GD has once again solved the issue to provide native corn starch and modified corn starch in mass quantities for import and distribution to countries around the world.
GD operates on a global level and loves serving its customers one shipment at a time. With a retention rate over 90% of elderberry customers and gloating reviews online, it is no wonder the majority of their business comes by word of mouth. The customer service and quality products speak for themselves, and that has been the cornerstone in making the elderberry distribution business maintain a foothold in the industry. Whether its the Minnesota-nice in the founder, or experience in sales and customer service, Tony and his team deeply love their customers, and their customers feel it!
Their network is vast and wide, with quality high, and pricing low. What the founder has created is exactly what every food and nutraceutical producer needs at their fingertips!
Contact Graystone Distribution for any and all materials you’re hunting for, there’s a chance they’ve already sniffed it out!
They would absolutely love to hear from you
Graystone Distribution | Chicago IL | Facebook
@graystoneelderberry • Instagram photos and videos
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