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.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1061591

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 64 of 127

Ross began making preserves out of a friend's catering kitchen and in April 2016, started selling at Smorgasburg, a weekend food market in Brooklyn. She offered sev- eral f lavors including what are now core parts of her line—Rosemary Grapefruit Marmalade as well as Banana Jam—and used the market to test new f lavors every weekend. She also made a chili jam for a cafe she goes to almost every day. They wanted to use it to put on their bagels and it also made it into her permanent line. Initially, the sales from Smorgasburg kept the company af loat while Ross was working on landing retail accounts. One of her early successes was finding a place at the popular cheese and provisions shop, Bklyn Larder. By the end of 2016, the company had more than 50 wholesale accounts and a line of popular products. During 2017, the brand continued on its trajectory, launching at Whole Foods in the Northeast. By the end of the year, it was in 150 retailers. Fast forward to today, Brins Jam & Marmalade can be found in more than 300 stores including The Fresh Market—but there have been plenty of growing pains in the 3½ years since she launched. The com- pany lost a trademark battle for the name Stagg and in 2018 relaunched as Brins. The new name also draws on Ross' roots in Southern Louisiana, as "brins" is the Cajun French word for "little bit." Also in early 2018, Ross opened a kitchen in Brooklyn to make her products, but quickly outgrew the space. She now works with a co-packer to make the six core products—which also includes Strawberry Lemongrass and Lemon Saffron. Ross also uses the space that she outgrew as a test kitchen and to make limited-edition runs. Collaboration Is at the Heart Ross enjoys sourcing locally. Brins "Cherry Chai Jam, made with Dona Masala Chai, is a good embodiment of how I started see- ing the company develop. I'd use products from other small Brooklyn food companies to create something interesting and 'local' together," she explains. Brins has made a special line of co- branded products for the hip Hoxton hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The three jams (Plum Juniper, Strawberry Vanilla, and Cranberry Meyer), are found in the rooms and can also be purchased in the hotel store. The company has also cre- ated a special co-branded line with Dean & Deluca (Raspberry Blossom, Blueberry Sumac, Spiced Cranberry, and Strawberry Hibiscus) and at press time was working on special products for Di Bruno Bros. as well. It is one of her oldest accounts. "I love doing these. I even design the labels myself so we can pull these collaborations together very quickly," she explains. As the company rolls toward its fourth year, Ross is very focused on expanding her reach to other parts of the country. "I really want to get to the West Coast," she says, "and grow more down South." Part of those expansion goals involve discovering what customers are looking for in differ- ent regions, as she's found that marmalade is not as common in the Northeast, for example. But Ross acknowledges that she has learned a great deal since she first started preserving produce from her mom's care packages—and has made many friends. "It struck me as I was walking down the New York state aisle at the Summer Fancy Food Show that I've known so many of these peo- ple for years. This really is my community." producer profile CANDICE ROSS Age: 36 Years in specialty food: 3 as a professional, 10 as an amateur Favorite food: Layer cake Least favorite food: Fettucine Alfredo If I weren't in the food business I'd be: Working in restorative architecture One piece of advice I'd give to a new food business: Go easy on yourself. Try not to be your harshest critic. You are going to make mistakes and don't feel bad about it. Just keep going. PHOTO: BRINS JAM & MARMALADE Brins has made a special line of co-branded products for the hip Hoxton hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The three jams (Plum Juniper, Strawberry Vanilla, and Cranberry Meyer), are found in the rooms and can also be purchased in the hotel store. 62 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com Susan Segrest is a regular contributor to Specialty Food Magazine and Specialty Food News.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Specialty Food Magazine - Winter 2019