For a while now I’ve been intending to dedicate some regular space on my blog to highlight local food businesses that I love. Of course it only make sense that I start with a business that focuses on preserves (right?!?). Kristen Cederquist, on of the co-owners of Serendipity Saucy Spreads, was one of the first people I befriended on Twitter. I admire her immensely as both a wonderful business person, as well as a friend. Kristen and Lynette are good people who make great jam!
From their website: “Serendipity Saucy Spreads is a collaborative effort of Kristen & Lynette Cederquist, two Santa Cruz artists with a passion for creating innovative twists on traditional family jam and preserve recipes. Lynette began making jam with her grandmother many many years ago and can remember waking up on summer mornings to lug boxes of fruit that were delivered from family friends. She and her grandmother and later on her mother would spend the morning preparing the fruit and then making delicious jams that they would share with their friends to enjoy for months to come. The tradition was then passed to Kristen, whose first memories go back to picking the ripest plums for plum jam on summer mornings with her grandmother when she was about five or six years old. For the past 15 years Kristen and Lynette have carried on the family tradition of making delicious jams, jellies, and marmalades.”
Why I love them:
I love the resurgence of local food businesses that have taken off in the Bay Area, particularly pickles and preserves. With such lovely weather and rich soil, we’re able to grow a variety of foods the rest of the world could only envy. Who needs Smuckers when you have the world at your fingertips? I do admit, though, to being annoyed by overly-clever preserves – the kinds that entail so many ingredients you get the feeling the main goal is to impress, rather than to impress upon the flavor. Serendipity gets that. They focus on bringing out the best flavors using quality ingredients and combinations resulting in a style of jam that is very fruit forward and usually very low in sugar. “Don’t screw with perfection” comes to mind! Not to say their jams are boring – on the contrary, they are anything but. My current favorite is their Comice pear and rosemary conserve. The sweetness of the rosemary brings out the best flavors in the Comice pear, giving it just enough complexity that it suddenly pairs equally well with a cheese platter as it does a atop a scone. I also use it to stuff pancakes! YUM! They have a spiced carrot jam that is reminiscent of a creamy pumpkin butter, and is wildly comforting during these cold-ish months (OK, it’s really been like spring time around here, lately. What is up with that?). My son is eagerly awaiting strawberry season again, for his favorite Serendipity flavor to reappear: strawberry preserves with balsamic.
Learn more about them:
Located in Santa Cruz, California
Visit their website to learn more about them (and check out what local flavors they currently have in-season!)
Fan them on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter
Support your favorite local small businesses! Without them, it would be a bland, bland world!