Whether you need a jam to top your toast or one to accompany a plate of Brie, skip the supermarket brands and go for the good stuff. Here “In the D,” we like to enjoy Michigan-made products whenever possible, right down to the preserves we smear on our cinnamon toast.
Give these local jam companies of southeast Michigan a proper taste test:
Based in Oak Park, Slow Jams can be found at Busch’s Markets, Westborn Markets, and select Whole Foods Markets, among other retail stores.
Some of Slow Jams’ most unique flavors include Raspberry Lemon Verbena, Rhubarb Ginger, Blueberry Lavender, Strawberry Balsamic and Peach Rosemary. According to founder Shannon Byrne, recipes are created based on flavor profiles found in some of her favorite dishes. Everything is locally made, using 100 percent Michigan fruit.
“Our mission is to bring our customers the highest quality locally sourced and locally produced jam,” Byrne said. “We are proud to support Michigan farmers and in addition to our creative and unique Slow Jams varieties, our commitment to supporting our local economy and community set us apart.”
Founder Tara Grey uses an incredibly low amount of sugar and zero pectin in her jams and marmalades. Gus & Grey products can be found at Stache International in Eastern Market, Leon & Lulu in Clawson, Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor and more.
Popular flavors include Floozie (peach, bourbon and vanilla) and Pearfection (pear and brown sugar). Gus & Grey products are given fun monikers, like My Funny Clementine (Clementine Marmalade) and Blimey (Blueberry Lime Jam).
“As far as creating new flavors, I feel that my brain is (always) working! I try to think of flavors that will compliment each other, even if it’s an oddball thing like garlic,” Grey said.