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A&E >  Food

Huckleberry treat from Idaho listed in People magazine

Huckleberry lemonade concentrate made in Sandpoint has landed in People magazine.

The beverage, made by Gem Berry Products, is featured in the Entertaining Special holiday issue, on newsstands through Christmas. It can be found on page 70 as part of the “Food Gifts from Every State” article.

It’s the only item listed from Idaho.

The product comes in a 12-ounce bottle and has been “very popular for holiday parties or gift giving,” said Harry Menser, co-owner of Gem Berry and a retired University of Idaho horticulturist. The sole remaining founding owner of the company, he turns 83 in January.

“The concentrate is made of pure wild huckleberry juice squeezed from Idaho huckleberries in small batches, then combined with 100 percent pure lemon juice and sweeteners,” Menser said.

It’s a perfect pairing for holiday punch with ice cream and sparkling cider or a mixer for cocktails, he said.

Gem Berry sells wild huckleberry, red raspberry and wild blueberry products. Huckleberry products – such as jam, syrup, sugar-free spread, honey, barbecue sauce, cordials and taffy – are its biggest sellers.

This particular recipe was created by the Elizabeth O’Brien before her death in 2004. She and her late husband, Jack, were founding owners of Gem Berry, along with Menser and his late wife, Betty. The O’Brien estate still owns half of the company, founded in 1993. The processing operation is run by Jack and Elizabeth O’Brien’s daughter Mary.

A representative of People magazine contacted the company via its website in September, asking for samples. Products can be purchased online at or by calling (888) 231-1699.

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