Around the same time Michigan passed its Cottage Food law, I met my business partner Molly O’Meara through mutual friends on Twitter, and we quickly discovered a shared love of food, cooking and entertaining. We hit it off in person, too, and decided to turn our passion into a small business, Beau Bien Fine Foods. The name is a nod to Detroit’s Beaubien Street, as well as my background in French language. Living there for a year after college, I was introduced to many new flavors and cooking traditions which still influence me today.
Molly and I were inspired by other artisanal jam makers in fruit-rich areas like the Bay area of California who were making small batch, high quality handmade preserves, and we thought, “Why not here?” We have access to some of the best fruit in the country in Southeast Michigan, yet no one was really making the kinds of preserves that we wanted to eat; specifically, a less sweet product with a more concentrated fruit flavor that could be paired with savory items like a cheese board in addition to putting it on your morning toast. We had tons of fun in the kitchen developing recipes for flavors like Apricot Riesling, Tart Cherry & Port, and Peach Ginger Chutney.
Almost all of our fruit is sourced from Michigan, and much of it from within 50 miles of our kitchen. We’ve experienced a big growth spurt within the last year, and with that, we are dealing directly with many farmers to buy large amounts of fruit. Last year Molly had the privilege to meet Barbara Norman, our blueberry farmer in Covert, MI. Barbara is the third generation owner of her farm, and her grandkids are the sixth generation to work the land. She’s transitioning her farm to organic, so she hasn’t sprayed her berries in four years. These are the kinds of details we can get from going to the source and knowing our farmers. We always look for the best quality produce we can possibly find, and we love being able to have hands-on involvement in selecting the best fruit for our products.
Working with Avalon is a natural fit for us and we’re so excited and proud to be in their stores. As hugely successful women business owners in Detroit, Ann and Jackie have always been role models for us, and the high caliber of everything they produce is a standard we strive to meet with our own company. We hope you’ll love our preserves as much as we love Avalon’s delicious baked goods, so please come in and try some soon!
Noelle Lothamer, co-owner
Beau Bien Fine Foods