Our artisans are located throughout the country and their products run the spectrum of savory to sweet.
At MidwestRoots, we choose our clients carefully. We seek out those artisans who have a product, packaging and a story that we love, and who resonate with our consumer base. We keep our lineup small and highly curated in order to serve as a trusted resource, connecting our stores with the best artisan producers from across the country.
Read on for more about each one of our producers! See a product or producer that you'd like to learn more about? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small batch preserves and condiments made in Petoskey, Michigan
American Spoon was founded in 1982. It seemed like the obvious next step for Justin Rashid, a forager of wild berries, nuts, and mushrooms, and Larry Forgione, a New York chef considered the "godfather of American cuisine," when they found themselves with an abundance of raw ingredients.
Justin aimed, simply, to preserve the bounty of the farms and woodlands of Northern Michigan, giving center stage to the fruits and vegetables. From the beginning, he employed tried and true methods, slowly simmering preserves, jams, and jellies in copper pots (celebrated because they do not scald the fruit!) and worked closely with farmers to preserve heirloom and forgotten varietals, long predating the now seemingly commonplace efforts of today's artisan food movement.
It didn't take long for folks to take note. Just five years after he began, American Spoon's Early Glow Strawberry Preserves wooed a tasting panel, beating out more than 50 strawberry jams from all over the world. One secret to success? Far higher fruit content, as compared to sugar, than most jams in the marketplace.
To this day, American Spoon is still thriving as a family owned and operated business in Petoskey, Michigan, employing over 50 folks from the local community. At any given time, one will find half a dozen copper pots bubbling away, transforming fruits, veggies, and foraged delights into a delicious assortment of condiments and preserves that are perfect to pair with meats and cheeses, incorporate into a favorite dish, or simply to eat with a spoon.
Salted caramel corn, featuring GMO-free popcorn, from Los Angeles.
Zlicious Confections was founded in 2012 by Matt Walton, a previous nine to fiver who knew he had something special in his grandmother Zelda's salted caramel sauce.
One evening on a whim, Matt ventured out to purchase a hot air popper. You know where things go from here! After popping a fresh batch of popcorn, Matt tossed it with Zelda's caramel sauce; there was no looking back!
Since that fateful eve, Matt's worked hard to perfect his recipe, as well as to source the best possible ingredients for his caramel corn. From the GMO-free corn kernels he pops to the imported brown sugar to the pink himalayan sea salt, everything adds up to a highly addictive, salty-sweet snack!
In addition to churning out batches of crowd favorite flavors like his Original Salted Caramel, he also plays with fun and creative combinations such as Cayenne, Rosemary, and Oatmeal Cookie ("no raisins!"), and during the holiday season, he welcomes the opportunity for seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Stick, each of which have culled devoted followings.
organic, handmade crackers baked fresh to order in wisconsin & california
Our first client!
The need for a great cracker to pair alongside the wealth of Wisconsin cheese spurred the founding of Potter's Crackers by the mother-son team of Nancy Potter and Peter Weber in 2006.
The two make a great team, with Nancy bringing decades of baking experience, having owned and operated the New Glarus Bakery for 25 years, and Peter, working at the bakery and subsequently pursuing a degree in food science from the University of Wisconsin. A fews years back, Peter moved to California for graduate studies and took Potter's with him, opening up a second kitchen which he leads today.
The two kitchens - Downtown Sacramento & Madison, Wisconsin - each source as many organic and local ingredients as possible, from locally milled flours to butter from nearby dairy farms. Their offerings of cracker and crisp flavors vary somewhat as dictated by the availability of ingredients local to their respective regions.
Both kitchens exude camaraderie amongst their employees and a passion for great ingredients and fantastic crackers that aren’t afraid to steal the show from cheese every now and then.
unroasted chocolate handcrafted in brooklyn
Raaka Chocolate is a small company in Brooklyn, helmed by Ryan Cheney and Nate Hodge, which crafts chocolate by hand. Raaka means ‘raw’ in Finnish -- a nod to Raaka's decision to make great chocolate without roasting the cacao beans. The use of unroasted beans necessitates excellent sourcing in order to ensure a tasty end result! And when you start with beans of such high quality, in not roasting them, you actually allow many of the more delicate and nuanced flavors to shine!
In addition to producing a unique line of chocolate bars, Raaka works hard to positively impact the farming communities with which it works through fair and direct trade, ensuring, at minimum, $500 over the going market rate per metric ton for cacao. Their desire to operate responsibly extends to environmental considerations as well. Most of their bars are certified organic and the chocolate’s packaging uses 100% post-consumer recycled, FSC-certified paper and is printed with soy-based inks. Raaka has also partnered with Edible Schoolyard NYC, donating all of their cocoa husks for use as mulch and fertilizer to help grow food.
fresh to order, handmade candies from downtown chicago!
Candymaker Chris found her passion early in life when, at the age of three, she packed her suitcase and tried to move to a candy shop. Now a classically trained pastry chef, Chris makes small batch sweets that blend a grown-up taste for quality with the fun and classic flavors of childhood. Who says artisanal candy has to be serious?
Whimsical Candy is made by hand in downtown Chicago in a building in the Loop that once housed a multistory confectionary company. While the "sugar chutes" between floors are no longer functioning, there's lots of sweetness still emanating from the building!
La Dee Dahs are her signature treat: white chocolate nougat swirled with sea salty caramel, dipped in dark chocolate.
Nourishing soap from a mother daughter team in california
Chivas Skin Care
Ever wonder why your bar of soap turns hard and cracks down the middle? This is because most commercial soap is made with large amounts of water, in addition to chemical fragrances and preservatives.
Chivas Skin Care's soap, on the other (soft & smooth!) hand, is made using fresh goats' milk which is moisturizing, luxurious, and great for sensitive skin.
Mother-daughter team Donna and Lauren are the dynamic duo behind the brand. They raise French Alpine goats on a family farm in Southern California. They milk the goats twice a day and use the fresh milk (not powdered or canned) – along with essential oils and fair trade shea butter – to handcraft some of the best soap we’ve ever used.
In addition to bar soaps, Chivas also offers a comprehensive skin care line ranging from facial lotion to vegan lip balm -- all beautifully packaged.
Sustainable & beautiful food storage from vermont
Bee’s Wrap, based in Vermont, crafts beautifully packaged, sustainable food storage wraps. Founder Sarah Kaeck grew tired of using plastic wrap to store beautiful veggies from her garden. Why put so much love and care into the process of growing food, only to store it in single-use, disposable plastic?
These sweet smelling, beeswax-dipped, organic cotton cloths are perfect for storing cheese, bread, and produce, or for covering a jar or casserole dish.
The warmth from your hands allows the cloths to mold to the shape of your object, creating an air tight seal. Not only do they serve as an alternative to plastic wrap, but they are washable and reusable.
Bee's Wrap has a range of product shapes and sizes, tailored to a whole host of food-wrapping needs, be it a freshly cut half avocado, a crusty loaf of bread, or a sandwich packed for lunch.
estate grown, certified organic olive oil from California's central valley
Enzo Olive Oil Company
It all began in 1914 when Vincenzo Ricchiuti made the voyage from Italy to California’s San Joaquin Valley. He planted the seeds of what is today a 4th generation family farm renowned for its almonds, fruits, and, more recently, olives.
Enzo Olive Oil is 100% estate grown, certified organic, extra virgin olive oil. Everything - from tenderly nurturing trees to harvesting to milling to bottling - is done on site under the direction of Patrick (the 3rd generation) and Vincent Ricchiuti (the 4th generation!).
Their Delicate, Medium, and Bold oils are each made from a single olive variety. They also offer some of the best infused oils we’ve ever tasted: Meyer Lemon, Basil, and Garlic.
We're not the only folks gaga for Enzo Olive Oil! The Ricchiuti Family's olive oils have caught the attention of judges at the Good Food Awards, the New York International Olive Oil Competition, and the Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition, to name a few.
7th generation all-natural salt harvested by hand
J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works
Siblings Nancy Bruns and Lewis Payne teamed up in 2013 to revive their family's salt-works business in the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia. As 7th generation descendants of the founder, they tap the same ancient spring trapped below the Appalachian Mountains for brine that their ancestors originally sourced in the 1800's.
J.Q Dickinson Salt-Works is special not only because of the intense history and the family lineage behind it, but also for the simple yet complex process that their finishing salt goes through to get to your table. The brine is pumped from a well into custom made beds where it rests - letting natural sunlight heat and evaporate the water, leaving behind white salt crystals which are then harvested - and packaged - by hand. The process - from production to packaging - utilizes no automation, yielding a superior product birthed from the time, passion and energy exerted to create it.
In addition to their all natural process, J.Q. Dickinson’s mission is to build a more sustainable economy and community by working with local contractors and artists to keep the process as local as possible. So when you invest in a J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works product, you are not only getting to share a creation from the J.Q Dickinson family to your own, but you are also declaring your belief in a better system.
bean-to-bar TREATS from woodstock illinois
In November of 2011, two former designers and friends opened a craft chocolate & dessert bar in Woodstock, IL. In a historic town square with locals who vehemently support their provincial purveyors, Mary and Sara don’t just make delicious desserts. They make their own chocolate - from scratch, taking the process quite literally from “bean-to-bar”. Importing whole cacao beans direct from farmers who know the source - single origin beans from Ecuador, Belize, and Madagascar - they roast, winnow and grind the resulting cacao nibs into smooth pourable chocolate that gets formed into bars and confections with thoughtful flavor combinations.
From organic and artisan truffles in adventurous flavors to dreamy chocolate beverages and baking mixes, these ladies do not take chocolate (or food in general) lightly. And neither will you after tasting one of their accidentally allergy friendly confections (all Ethereal chocolates are gluten free).
This hand-crafted approach from Mary and Sara makes a difference you not only notice instantly in the care and obvious attentiveness behind each wrapped by hand confection (not to mention the thoughtfully designed product styling and labels), but it is also a quality apparent in the taste of each of their delightful sweets.
More info coming soon!