1) When did you get started?
Preservation: I started Preservation in 2012. My mom was teaching me to make fruit preserves and we started experimenting with different flavors. I am a chef by trade and was working as a pastry assistant at the time for a catering company and was wanting to start a business of my own. Our friends and family started asking to buy them and Preservation was born.
2) What inspires you?
Preservation: Seasonal flavors, midwest fruit, experimenting with combinations that aren't typical.
3) Where did you start?
Preservation: In Westfield, Indiana where we are still located.
4) Do you have a special connection to the location you operate in?
Preservation: Yes, we currently produce out of the kitchen in our ice cream & dessert shop called Cone + Crumb (owned by my husband and myself).
5) What was your business’ first best seller or big success?
Preservation: Kiwi Pineapple Jam is what gave us our start.
6) What was your first setback?
Preservation: Finding space to rent. At the time, we didn't have any commercial space to produce so we had to find someone to rent kitchen space to us. It was a challenge hauling everything there, making the jam, then hauling it to a rented warehouse space to store it.
7) Do you have a favorite product or thing to make?
Preservation: My favorite product is our Blueberry Rhubarb jam. I call it our Indiana jam because it reminds me of summer here: the sweetness of the blueberries with the added little bit of sourness at the end of the rhubarb.
8) How many people do you employ?
Preservation: Right now we have a team of three people, including myself.
9) What is your current best seller?
Preservation: Strawberry Balsamic and Banana Butter are tied for best seller.
10) What is the most recent product you’ve made?
Preservation: Sweet Tomato Jam is our newest product.
11) What’s a recent success you’ve had in business?
Preservation: I just recently completed a course to be a certified processor which means that we can start pickling vegetables and branching out to other canned goods.
12) Do you have an online operation?
Preservation: We do have an online store now and ship nationwide. We used to have a larger wholesale operation before opening a restaurant in 2014. Our goal for this year is to expand our wholesale business again as well.
13) What is the most interesting thing about your product or service?
Preservation: We make every preserve in small batches by hand. We fill the jars by hand and label them by hand so there isn't any machinery involved. It helps us to really be connected with our product and ensure great quality.
14) Do you have any advice for someone starting a business?
Preservation: Don't be afraid to make mistakes or fail. That is where I have learned the most in my businesses and I use it as a tool to constantly improve and grow.
15) Do you have any advice for someone starting a business in your industry specifically?
Preservation: Work for other people and learn from others. My first 10 years in the food industry, I worked for a handful of different people (and in different aspects of the hospitality industry) to learn new skills and to understand the business more before I started my own. There is a huge learning curve in the food business and it helped me tremendously. I still had a lot to learn on my own but it helped to set me up for success.
16) What is your favorite state in the Midwest?
Preservation: Besides Indiana, I enjoy the natural beauty of Michigan's lakes and mountains while I love the buzz and energy of Chicago.
17) What state in the Midwest are you in?
18) What is your favorite thing about the Midwest?
Preservation: I love how supportive Midwesterners are of others. Our community has been amazing and has loyally supported all of our business endeavors through the years. I think that is a rare and wonderful thing to find, but I think it is truly a Midwestern quality.
19) What is your favorite place to visit in your state?
Preservation: I love Turkey Run, an Indiana State Park, for hiking. It's just a fun place to take a picnic and spend the day.
20) What is your favorite season?
Preservation: I love fall in Indiana and visiting local apple orchards to get fresh apple cider and cider doughnuts.