The other day, I had a chance to sit down with Mike Russo to talk about his business, Vibrational Elixirs. As a long-time fan of Vibrational Elixirs’ Earth Mix products, I was curious to learn more about how the business came to be. Mike, whom I’d met at various vegan events about town, agreed to sit down with me at Recess and answer all my questions over some good coffee.
Earth Mix, it turns out, started off as a purely personal thing. Mike, at that time a vegetarian, first started mixing up super-foods for his own use about 6 years ago. He found a supplier able to provide him with the healthy, natural products he was looking for to supplement his own diet—ingredients like cacao, acai, pomegranate, bladderwrack, yacon, quinoa, chaga mushrooms, amla, blueberries, and much, much more. All of it from organic farms , all of it raw (except the extracts), all of it independently tested for nutrition and heavy metals, all of it dehydrated within 24 hours of harvest. (If you didn’t know till now what bladderwrack or amla were, don’t feel bad; me neither. Bladderwrack is a type of seaweed, and amla is an “Indian gooseberry” used in Ayurvedic medicine and apparently the king of antioxidants). Mike started mixing up different blends of superfoods, trying new recipes for his own use. He liked what he came up with and in 2015, around the time he went full-on vegan, he decided to start sharing his creations with others. He’s been selling Earth Mix at various Farmer’s Markets (including the Fayetteville Farmers Market in Towne Center and the CNY Regional Market out by Destiny) and on his website ever since.
Right now, Earth Mix comes in three flavors: Purple Panther, Double Chocolate and Strawberry. Recipe ideas are available on the site—mostly smoothies and juice mixes. I tend to use the Purple Panther (by far my favorite) to add a nutritional kick to our homemade nice cream—a few frozen bananas, a few frozen cherries, a little bit of soy or almond milk, and a big scoop of Earth Mix makes the whole family happy, and my kids don’t even know they’re eating healthy. Earth Mix is available for purchase through the website for $47.99 per bag. If you catch Mike at a market, you’ll be able to pick it up for $40 per bag (a $7.99 incentive to get out and see people on a Saturday morning).
Mike loves what he sells and doesn’t rely on gimmicks to hook customers. He doesn’t rely on packaging that promises people they’ll lose weight, he doesn’t tell prospective customers that his mix is going to cure all their ailments or help them run their best marathon. He’s just mixing up good, clean, healthy, whole foods. If that lack of gimmicks and hooks negatively effects his sales, he’ll be okay. “If I didn’t sell any Earth Mix, I’d eat them all myself,” he says.
Visit Mike starting this May and June at the CNY Regional Market in Syracuse on Saturday mornings or Fayetteville Towne Center on Thursdays.
Check out the Vibrational Elixirs website for online purchases, ingredient lists, recipe ideas and more.