Specialty Food Magazine

Winter 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Winter Fancy Food Show Booth 546 I t may seem like an odd transition to go from being an architect for Ralph Lauren to creating jams and preserves for such stores as Dean & Deluca and Di Bruno Bros., but it all makes sense to Brins' found- er, Candice Ross. "I like the idea of flipping the notion of architecture inside out. Instead of building a whole space for things to be contained in, I'm creating something small—preserves—and then sending it out into the world for people to make something bigger with it." Too Much Produce After graduating with a degree in architecture from Louisiana State University, Ross moved to New York in 2005 to begin her career—and her mother promptly began sending her care packages. "She would pack these flat-rate shipping boxes with fruits, vegetables, and herbs gathered from her yard and my grandfather's farm—and I'd try desperately to finish it all," says Ross. And she couldn't. So, to keep from having this amazing produce go bad, Ross began making jams and marmalades with the excess. She then gave them to colleagues and acquaintances and it turned out to be a great way for the newcomer to start up conversations and make friends. "Making preserves is perfect for me as they are the combination of something that's creative but also scientific," Ross explains. By about 2008 she was still making the pre- serves, but had too much to give away, so she started selling on Etsy—and doing very well. But she was also moving up in her architecture career and ultimately decided to shelve the online store for a while. Eventually, however, Ross began to feel that how she was spending her days as an architect—"obsessing over shades of white and grout lines"—wasn't what she wanted to be doing. In 2015 she incorporated her business, which she named Stagg after her grand- father who is "a mechanic, and a cattle, crawfish, and rice farmer," she says. "He is the strongest-willed person I know and my inspiration." — 2005 Moved to New York, started making preserves from fruit her family sent. — 2015 Formed Stagg Jams LLC and began producing preserves in friend's catering kitchen. — 2016 Began to scale up recipes, manufacture at a wholesale level, and sell to markets and at Smorgasburg, ending the year with 50 wholesale accounts. — 2017 Was carried at Whole Foods and larger grocery stores. Ended the year in more than 150 stores. — 2018 Opened company kitchen, rebranded the company to Brins, launched Strawberry Lemongrass and Lemon Saffron flavors. HIGHLIGHTS WINTER 2019 61

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