A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Garnet Gals — Andrews Garnet Spencer passed down her love of preserves to her daughter and granddaughter, Andrea and Megan Lambert. Now, the Lamberts carry on her traditions with their

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Garnet Gals — Andrews Garnet Spencer passed down her love of preserves to her daughter and granddaughter, Andrea and Megan Lambert. Now, the Lamberts carry on her traditions with their

Jars of Joy: 15 North Carolina Businesses with a Passion for Preserves

Garnet Gals — Andrews

Garnet Spencer passed down her love of preserves to her daughter and granddaughter, Andrea and Megan Lambert. Now, the Lamberts carry on her traditions with their business named in her honor. Andrea runs the herb garden, and Megan, a professional chef, dreams up new flavor combinations like beet marmalade and vanilla pear jam.


Mrs. Ruth’s Jams — Apex

Ruth Taylor started out making jam for her friends and family. As the business has grown to larger commercial accounts, she’s maintained the hospitality at the heart of Mrs. Ruth’s. In addition to offering signature flavors like Belgian chocolate strawberry and blueberry orange, Taylor often collaborates with customers to re-create childhood memories or family recipes.


Sweet Brine’d — Asheville

Before opening Sweet Brine’d, Benjamin Hancock taught fermentation as an occupational skills activity at a rehabilitation center in Asheville. Now, he continues sharing his love of fermentation at local farmers markets with crowd-pleasers like sauerkraut and kimchi, and classics like dill pickles (Hancock’s personal favorite).


WillaBee Goods — Durham

After four years of backyard beekeeping, Shantell Ferrell is rediscovering her passion for cooking while also building a business. Ferrell started selling homemade jams at the Black Farmers Market last year, reconnecting with a family preserving tradition. She’s now in the process of expanding her business to include pickled veggies, honey, and more.


Imladris Farm — Fairview

Imladris Farm has been in the Harrill family for seven generations, and Walter and Wendy Harrill are dedicated to sustainable agriculture and production to maintain their family’s legacy. They grow their own berries and purchase fruit from other local mountain farms to create timeless classics like blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry jams.


Mariah’s Gourmet Relishes — Fayetteville

Her grandmother’s chowchow was a staple throughout Phyllis Haynes’s childhood. Now, she shares this recipe with the rest of the world. Gourmet relishes in mild, medium, or hot brighten any meal as a dip, a topping for yesterday’s leftovers, or a mix-in for a fresh salad.

(910) 527-0548

Wildflour Bakery — Gloucester

In the Whites’ home bakery just east of Beaufort, Gary makes the baked goods, and Cathy makes the jam to spread on top. The couple sells sweet treats like whiskey fig cakes and scrumptious spreads like strawberry margarita jam and pear rosemary preserves at the Olde Beaufort Farmers Market and other seasonal markets.

(252) 241-1581

Blue Ridge Jams — Hendersonville

Linda Justice opened The Sugar Shack in 1961, and it’s been in the family since. Current owners Robin and Steve Pridmore changed the name to Blue Ridge Jams for wholesale to local shops and restaurants, but you can still find the Sugar Shack label at farmers markets in and around Hendersonville. Blue Ridge has around 120 flavors — crowd favorites include habanero raspberry and strawberry fig.

(828) 685-1783

Outer Banks Olive Oil — Kill Devil Hills

Laura and Phil Wayland started selling gourmet olive oil about nine years ago and have since expanded their offerings to include all sorts of artisanal foods. Some of their most popular preserved goods include the OBX Traffic Jam — tangerine, orange, and elderberry — and ghost pepper salsa. You can find their storefronts in Kill Devil Hills, Duck, and Nags Head.

(252) 449-8229

Crow Bar Farm Foods — Little Switzerland

Crow Bar supplies handmade jams to several restaurants in and around McDowell County. Their flavors include peach habanero and an orange-infused pale ale jam made with local brews. For something more festive, check out the Party Jars — full of dehydrated fruit with instructions to make your own sangria.

(828) 467-0538

Serotonin Ferments — Marshall

Since moving to North Carolina in 2016, Sarah Archer has centered her business on community and personal wellness. Named for the hormone responsible for happiness, Serotonin’s products include preserved lemons, pickled okra, and the ever-popular sauerkraut, with flavor variations like beet ginger and lemon dill.

(707) 972-2391

Fiddlehead Farm — Pittsboro

Owners Emily and David Boynton started Fiddlehead Farm 10 years ago because they wanted to feed their kids well; now, they put the same love and care into everything they make. They grow their own peppers for hot sauce and source their fruit from local, organic farms.


Peggy Rose’s Jellies — Wake Forest

Peggy Rose Newsome grew up on a farm and learned to make preserves at a young age. Her signature product, pepper jelly, is a Southern tradition with a twist of cranberry or ghost pepper, best served simply with cheese and crackers. A jar of champagne mustard completes the spread.

(919) 880-0479

Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon — Waynesville

For siblings Jessica DeMarco and Dan Stubee, their business is a way to spend time with family and experiment in the kitchen. Add their sweet jams to a cheesecake tart, spice up deviled eggs with pickled pepper hash, or try your own recipes with any of around 35 seasonal products.

(828) 593-0501

Carolina Country Store — Wilmington

For 11 years, this store has supported North Carolina artisans with disabilities. At first, it primarily sold bath and body products, but now customers can find all sorts of specialty foods and craft items. Choose between options like maple bacon jam, sweet potato butter, and moonshine pickles.

(910) 367-5065

Canning & Preserving: Do you want to learn how to can? We talked to three experts to find out their best tips and tricks for preserving the season’s harvest at home. Visit ourstate.com/osknowsbest.

This story was published on Aug 31, 2021

Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson is a summer 2021 editorial intern at Our State.