About

American Spoon handcrafts fruit preserves and condiments in small batches, capturing the singular flavors of exceptional fruits in every jar.

Since 1982, we’ve been preserving fruit in our Petoskey, Michigan kitchen. After all these years, our crew of skilled cooks still prepares fruits by hand and cooks them with care in small-batch copper kettles. We work directly with a dedicated group of Michigan farmers who grow the varieties of fruits we love, varieties bred over generations specifically for their unparalleled taste and unique character. Our small company exists to find, capture, and preserve flavors you won’t find anywhere else.

The American Spoon Story

Like most good things, American Spoon began with dreams. For Justin Rashid, it was the dream of a livelihood harvesting the bounty of the farms and woodlands of Northern Michigan. For Chef Larry Forgione, it was the dream of gathering the harvests and traditions of America's diverse regions into a distinctively American cuisine.

Their dreams converged in 1979 when Justin began picking Michigan's wild morel mushrooms and shipping them to New York for Larry's menu. Soon, with Larry's encouragement, Justin was gathering wild mushrooms, wild nuts, berries, wild greens and purveying farm-raised vegetables and game for Larry's and other restaurants around the country.

In 1981 Larry and Justin shared a new dream: to produce the finest fruit preserves in the world from Michigan fruit. Larry developed an original recipe that would capture the essences of the fruit, Justin selected superb varieties of Northern fruits worthy of the effort, a kitchen was furnished with large copper kettles and wooden paddles, and American Spoon was born.

Their first preserves, made from Early Glow strawberries, were soft, succulent and filled with halved berries. They were described as "Spoon Preserves" because they were more suited to spooning than spreading with a knife. The name became permanent and so did the concept of putting as much fruit and honest flavor into every recipe, a concept that has inspired a continually expanding line of delicious products.

“...a kitchen was furnished with large copper kettles and wooden paddles and American Spoon was born.”

Our Kitchen

Our first kitchen amounted to two gas fired copper kettles that we stirred with long wooden paddles, a three-compartment sink and a maple block table where we filled jars one at a time by hand, in the basement of a candy store on Howard Street in downtown Petoskey. The fragrances of the local fruits we were cooking wafted up and out through a vent on the sidewalk and people tried to see where these wonderful smells were coming from. But we were invisible down there so, in 1983 we moved the kitchen upstairs into a shop at 411 East Lake Street where we cooked with three copper kettles and a single head filling machine behind a window with our very first retail store in the front. Now customers could see the source of those captivating aromas and taste and buy jars of the fruits that produced them. The New York Times wrote about us and our summer visitors swarmed the place. We were so successful there that we had to keep expanding into adjacent basements, and within five years we were forced to build a large kitchen/ small jam factory with nine kettles right at the edge of town, not far from the Bear River.

After all these years, we still prepare fruits by hand and cook them in small copper kettle batches under the watchful eyes of our skilled cooks whose deep experience and judgement are critical to the rare quality we achieve. We think of our kitchen as a pretty amazing place, operated by genuinely dedicated, truly remarkable people. Because of them, a kind of culinary magic with fruit happens there that occurs nowhere else.

After all these years, we still prepare fruits by hand and cook them in small copper kettle batches...

Fruits & Farmers

At American Spoon, we're grateful that Northern Michigan remains a place where small family fruit farms still survive and thrive thanks to the dedicated growers for whom fruit culture is part of a lifestyle and a lifelong passion. Passion and devotion to craft are presumed prerequisites for food artisans, but those qualities are no less important for those enduring growers who know intimately the vicissitudes and the labors of their calling.

For almost thirty years, American Spoon has worked to build direct and personal relationships with Michigan fruit growers. By guaranteeing higher than market prices to the farmers whose fields and orchards we visit throughout the season we are able to ensure the longevity of the varieties we love. We like to say that every taste tells a story, and without these committed farmers, the stories of our wonderful but demanding fruit varieties like the Red Haven Peach, the Early Glow Strawberry, the Damson Plum, the Rubel Blueberry and the Northern Spy Apple would soon be lost and forgotten.

For almost thirty years, American Spoon has worked to build direct and personal relationships with Michigan fruit growers.

Family Business

Justin and Larry founded American Spoon together in 1982 and worked diligently to realize their dream of a sustainable business that doesn’t sacrifice quality to success. Today, over 30 years later, the company is owned and operated by Justin and his wife Kate Marshall, with the help of their son Noah. Relationships are at the heart of what we do here at American Spoon, and we’re proud to be a small, hands-on family business. From the dishwasher in our preserving kitchen to Justin himself, everyone who works here believes in the company’s founding principles and has a stake in its success. We live and work in the same small towns, and we’re connected to what we do in very real ways. We visit our stores and shop at them, too. The farmers whose fields we visit to check on crops are some of the same farmers we buy produce from at our local farmers markets. The jam we all serve at our family breakfasts is the jam our crew made in the American Spoon kitchen. In a family business, the pride of ownership extends throughout the company and contributes not just to the culture of the company, but ultimately to its success and longevity.

Press & Awards

Press
  • “American Spoon was ahead of the curve when it comes to the artisanal movement.”

  • “[American Spoon’s Red Haven Peach Preserves are] the standout winner. Tasters liked its bold, ripe peach taste and balanced sweetness.”

  • “American Spoon's Sour Cherry Preserves are so packed with fruit, it's basically like spreading soft, cooked whole cherries onto your bread.”

  • Our Cherry BBQ Grilling Sauce is one of Saveur magazine's “barbecue sauces we can't live without.”
    “Full of tartness from Michigan-grown cherries, Petoskey, Michigan's, American Spoon Cherry BBQ Grilling Sauce has fresh orange zest and a touch of cumin. Delicious on pork loin, chicken, or duck.”

  • On the Road Featured Destination
    “Take home some local cherries. American Spoon sells them in all forms.”

  • “Go to brunch in Petoskey’s Historic Gaslight District for the American Spoon Café’s eggs benedict with house-smoked local whitefish. Before you leave, stock up on American Spoon’s artisanal jams, such as Early Glow Strawberry Preserves and Red Haven Peach Preserves, handmade with fruit grown in northern Michigan.”

Awards
  • Award For:

    The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced.

    Recognizing

    Wild Thimbleberry Jam, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016

    Wild Blueberry Compote, 2015

    Ramp Kimchi, 2015, 2016

    Wild Elderberry Jelly, 2016

    Chocolate Fudge Sauce, 2016

  • Award For:

    The sofi Awards are the specialty food industry’s most prestigious honor, celebrating the best of the best in Specialty Food.

    Recognizing

    Bloody Mary Mix

    Chili Jam

    Pumpkin Seed Salsa

    Wild Elderberry Jelly

  • Award For:

    The James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America is a cadre of the most accomplished food and beverage professionals in the country. Though they represent a diverse cross-section of the food and beverage industry, every member has contributed in some substantial way to America’s constantly evolving culinary scene.

    Recognizing

    Justin Rashid, American Spoon President & co-founder, Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, 1984

Careers at American Spoon

At American Spoon, our most important asset is great people. We’re a 33 year-old company that’s still looking for new and better ways of doing things, and we strive to be a place where the best idea wins, regardless of who or where it comes from. We’re looking for creative thinkers and doers with positive attitudes who enjoy working in a collaborative environment.

  • Retail

    Our stores are where we welcome old friends and make new ones. As part of the American Spoon retail team, your role is to connect with customers, share our story, and provide excellent customer service. Plus, you get to taste a lot of jam.

  • Kitchen

    Our kitchen crew starts each day with raw fruit and ends with thousands of jars of jam. It's a close-knit group of dependable folks with a strong work ethic and sense of ownership. The kitchen is the heart and soul of our business, and our crew takes real pride in that.

  • Shipping

    Before our jars make their way to customers, they take up temporary residence at our warehouse, located in what was once the local roller rink. They don't wear skates, but our shipping crew gets packages out lickety-split, and they're constantly looking for ways to do it better and faster.

  • Headquarters

    Can you do a bunch of different types of things really well? Then we might have a few hats for you to wear around American Spoon HQ. From customer service to technology to marketing, the folks in our office support and direct the entire operation, and keep things running smoothly.

Find your dream job. Email your resume or send a note to hr@spoon.com