Red Root & Co.
Corey MacDonald is on a journey to harness the power of plants to improve health, and her company, Red Root & Company, is her way of sharing that passion with the world and empowering others to use plants to manage their health. By turning plants into products that can be enjoyed in food and drink for both their flavor- and health-enhancing purposes, Red Root & Co. makes ancient herbal traditions accessible and approachable, even to those who might not ordinarily seek out herbal medicine.
Corey’s family moved around the country a lot during her childhood, but everywhere they went, they always hiked and kept a garden. Corey was fascinated by plants and loved finding ripe things in the garden, and as she got older and embarked on her own health journey, she realized that plants were more than food. After experiencing how much herbal medicine could improve her own health, she set out to start a business that would share that experience with others.
Red Root & Co. started small in 2016 and has grown incrementally since then, while always maintaining a strong commitment to integrity, nutrition, and flavor. Handcrafted in Harrisonburg, VA with ingredients like raw honey, raw apple cider vinegar, locally sourced plants, and responsibly wildcrafted ingredients, their products contain no concentrates and no cane sugar. Much like kombucha fifteen years ago, the names of some of the products may be unfamiliar, like shrub or oxymel, but they are perfect for adding new, complex flavors and health-enhancing properties to your everyday cooking and drinking.
Shrubs, which come in flavors like Blackberry Mint and Rhubarb Verbena, are tart and fruity concentrates of apple cider vinegar, herbs and spices, fruits, and honey that are great in alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks or taken on their own as a shot. Oxymels (from the Latin for “honey” and “acid”) are versatile flavor- and health-boosters for cooking (think dressing salads, seasoning vegetables, or livening up beans or grains) or for beverages. With flavors like Heirloom Garlic and Wild Greens & Citrus, these ancient preparations will easily become your new favorite condiment. Red Root & Co. also makes syrups, bitters, health tonics, and more.
The name Red Root & Co. represents the spirit that their products aim to embody. People don’t talk about it much today, but Red Root is a native plant in Virginia that was important to the Native American people who originally lived on this land and that was an early malaria remedy. The “& Co.” signifies the fact that nothing happens in isolation, so the name as a whole honors the past, the land, the healing power of plants, and the connectedness of all things. We’ll raise a (plant-powered, flavor-packed) glass to that!