Our Story

It all started with one bush in the backyard.

Lycoberry was founded by a husband-and-wife team who couldn’t believe that more people didn’t eat this amazing fruit that grew in their backyard– and, it turns out, in lots of backyards, fields, and roadsides across the country.

“We were eating them for the taste alone, but when we found out about the incredible nutritional value of these berries, we were amazed that no one was selling them on a commercial scale. Why couldn’t we go to the store and buy these?”

Lycoberry is a brand new ingredient that we think is going to catch on in a big way. It’s got everything: a good story, unique health benefits, and a sublime flavor!

Lycoberry’s delightful taste and good looks stand on its own, but its major selling point is its high lycopene content. It is the only concentrated source of lycopene with a sweet, fruity flavor. Unlike tomatoes, it is a perfect ingredient for breakfasts, snacks, and desserts.

A powerful anti-oxidant and carotenoid, lycopene is being extensively researched for its strong protection against degenerative diseases. High concentrations of lycopene in the body correlate with significantly reduced rates of cancer, heart disease, macular degeneration, and UV skin damage.

Lycoberry is available as either a powder or puree. Both are cold processed to preserve the high levels of nutrients.

Orin Zelenak     co-founder and owner

Orin is a born entrepreneur. Apart from a three year break to work on a PhD in philosophy, he has been successfully running his own businesses for the last twenty years. So when his wife came to him with these berries and said, “I think there would be a market for these,” his reaction was immediate: “Let’s do it.”

In the short time since that conversation, Orin has created a dedicated team of food scientists, horticulturalists, chefs, harvesters, marketing consultants, and co-packers.

Behind the drive lies a real belief in the product: in giving people a new way to get lycopene and other important phytonutrients in their diet; and in creating a new model for managing and using an invasive species.

Susan Miller     co-founder and owner

In recent years, Susan’s main focus turned from business to parenting, sparking a growing interest in health, nutrition, and food. With their two daughters, she discovered the pleasure of foraging for wild edibles and growing food.

When she learned that the berries growing behind the house were edible, Susan began harvesting, freezing, and baking with them. Then she read about the high lycopene content and other impressive nutrients, and she realized that this fruit had big potential.

Susan and Orin did extensive research on the chemistry, horticulture, and ecology of the plant, and experimented with the culinary uses of the fruit. The more they learned about autumn olive fruit, the more excited they grew to introduce them to a wider market.