Thursday, December 8, 2011
Sweet Thing Gourmet
There is jam, and then, there is Sweet Thing Gourmet jam.
I have always had a fondness for jams in general. They dress up toasts in the morning, add sweetness to buttery cookies, and can be surprising good in salad dressings.
I heard about Mark and Kyla and their jams before I met them in person. Because we live in the same town, it was not too long before I was introduced to them, along with their deliciously creative jam creations.
During the farmers market season, the couple and their three children can be found at several markets around Columbus. They always have a variety of jams to sample (my daughter's favorite reason to go to a market), as well as their homemade biscottis beautifully packaged and oh so good with a hot cup of tea.
It was a beautiful cold morning when I popped in to say hello the Sweet Thing team. Mark and Kyla were elbow deep in their jam making session, in their home kitchen. The scent of warm apple cider and raspberry filled the whole house.
"We are making Raspberry Jalapeño and Apple Cider Jelly!" they announced as I entered.
Dozens of already packaged jam jars decorated their counters and tables, ready to be shipped to the expecting customers. Sweet Thing Gourmet operation was in full swing!
I got to witness first hand the artisanal quality that these jams receive. The are made in small batches, and everything is done by hand. Even the labels are designed and printed out of their home office, sealed and packaged individually as well.
Back home, I already have a few jars. Some are open, and some are going into gift bags for the holiday season. Everyone that I have shared the jams with have not only loved the products, but want to know the history behind them.
My husband, who does not throw out words of compliment easily, tasted their Peach Jam with Samos Saffron recently. He paused after the first bite, studied the jam jar once or twice, took another spoonful straight into his mouth and blurted out:
"That is the best jam I have ever had!"
Coming from my life-partner, who I know so well, those words are pretty powerful.
"I know," I said. "The people behind the jam are really great, too," I added. "They put their souls into the jam."
I have seen and tasted it myself.
Sweet Thing Gourmet can be found in several stores in Columbus (including Whole Foods, and Celebrate Local in Easton), or you can order them online and have them delivered to you. I am one of those people who enjoy making my own holiday gifts, but I have no qualms giving these jams out to my family and friends. It makes a difference that I know the hands behind the jars, and the souls that get put into them.