From Chef Emily ...
If you're here, it's because you're curious about the person who dreamed up French Watermelon Mint Syrup. It's only natural to wonder. I grew up in a small farming community in southern Maryland, where I learned the rhythms of picking and preserving seasonal fruits and veggies from our garden and local farms. I'd tag along with my grandmother, Dorothea, to pick fresh strawberries and her favorite: blackberries the size of golf balls. She'd always say, "I think I ate more than I picked!" With berry-stained fingers and lips, hands itching from the prickly stems, we'd take our haul to her kitchen to make jam and spend days canning. The time with her rooted me in the kitchen and planted the seed that grew into Locally Preserved, New Orleans' first all-natural food manufacturing business.
When I arrived in New Orleans in 2007 (on a particularly muggy December night), fresh out of the Culinary Institute of America/Hyde Park to work at Chef Scott Boswell's Stella!, I never imagined the zig-zagged route I would travel to get here. Over the years, I've worked with an incredible group of chefs, including longtime friend Chef Jose Andres (Jaleo), legendary Louisiana Chef John Folse, celebrity chef Ming Tsai ("Simply Ming"), and Lidia Bastianich ("Lidia's Italy in America", "Lidia Celebrates America").
In April 2010, I started Feed Me Eat Pretty, a small, local catering business. The luncheons, cocktail and dinner parties I catered gave me the perfect opportunity to dig back into making small-batch, seasonal jams, jellies, and syrups – an endeavor that has always felt therapeutic, comforting, and right for me. When so many of those clients asked to buy my preserves, I knew the time was right to launch a product line. In 2013, I restructured Feed Me Eat Pretty and rebranded my products under the Locally Preserved label. I won the first annual New Orleans Food Challenge, and this incredible win secured my spot in The Big Idea 2014, an Idea Village startup competition held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.
It's been a whirlwind crash course in learning how to grow a small business into a scalable, national brand. But no matter how big we get, I'm still that kid standing in the kitchen, stirring the pot.
Join our team!
Locally Preserved is growing by the day. We have big plans to expand operations and we need smart, dedicated, fruit-lovin' people to join our team at every level of the business. Contact us if you've got the skills and passion to be a part of growing with us at Locally Preserved.
What kind of fruit are you?
About Locally Preserved
Locally Preserved jams, jellies, and syrups are created with two core values in mind: we use minimal ingredients for maximum flavor (nothing artificial!) and peak-season fresh, local produce to keep our farms in business.
How do we do it? We never stop evolving. Locally Preserved products are created to accommodate the needs and challenges of our local farms. We don't place orders. We take what they've got and we figure out the rest in our kitchen. It's never dull around here, and we've run into some interesting challenges with this unpredictable model. We've had a few flavor mishaps that didn't make it out of the kitchen, but there's a fine line between sheer disaster and brilliant discovery. So far, we've found that sweet spot – a place where, for every Blueberry Red Wine (seriously ... wrong), there's a Grapefruit Mint. Or Strawberry Lavender. Or, hello, Fig & Fir. We're here because we've never met a fruit we didn't love.