Back in February, we were proud to showcase several Black producers, from cookies to sauces to tasty snacks. It was the highest number of Black-made products we’d had on our shelves at once, and it was still a single digit number. Black producers and owners are underrepresented in the food industry, just as they are in many industries, and we acknowledged then that there was more work ahead. As a local grocery store, we play a vital role in providing a stage for many small producers, Black or otherwise.
That’s why we’re just as proud to highlight two very excellent Black-owned products added to our inventory since then! One you may recognize, selling on our shelves for several successful months now; the other is a newcomer, arriving just in time for the fanfare of Juneteenth’s official induction into federal holiday status.
Originally hailing from North Carolina, Trade St Jam Co gets its name from the street in Charlotte where founder Ashley Rouse jarred her first flavorful jams in her apartment, all the way back in 2008. These jams are vegan, low in sugar, and free of pectin and preservatives to let the ingredients truly shine. Now based out of Brooklyn, Ashley Rouse puts her 15 years of experience as a chef to work in creating unique and inspired flavor combinations. While Trade St Jam Co has several mouthwatering flavors to choose from, we’re starting with three we think are incredible: Smoked Yellow Peach, Blackberry Merlot, and Plum & Rose. That last one is Ashley’s favorite!
Like many producers on our shelves, Maroon Sausage Company was born in a Brooklyn kitchen, a cross of Chicagoan sausage tradition and Jamaican jerk seasoning. It’s the kind of multicultural, melting-pot kind of collaboration that can always be found in New York. Out of Maroon’s lineup, we chose their Pineapple Jerk Chicken Sausage for a sweet-salty-spicy combination that will have even the biggest spice scaredy-cats reaching for seconds. If you’ve got a friend in need of convincing that pineapple belongs in savory applications, this is the solution.