Modern Gingham preserves are one of the first products we discovered and got excited about when we started out with Colorado Crafted. Kathy's flavor pairings are consistently inspired and delicious, and the fact that she uses locally sourced (and sometimes even foraged!) produce makes her preserves that much more interesting.
Every time I chat with Kathy about her latest ideas on how to use Modern Gingham preserves - topping plain yogurt, paired with duck, in a grilled cheese with aged cheddar - I get hungry. She's a lady who understands good food, and it shows. And on top of that, Kathy is super nice, whip smart, and very funny. We were so pleased to visit her in her Denver kitchen to snap some photos of her in action and ask her a few questions.
Tell us the story of how you got started.
In 1998, I met my husband, Daniel, a guy from London, England who was living in Chicago. When I met his parents for the first time in London, I was introduced to their pantry, filled with mason jars of preserved foods-fruits in syrup, fruits in wine, veggies in brine, and jams. I was fascinated and impressed and excited to try it myself. Upon returning back to Chicago, I bought some heirloom apples, made and jarred applesauce and became hooked on preserving food. I lived in Montreal, Quebec for 4 years and learned to preserve and “put up” lots of different foods. Moving to Denver, I noticed the large number of fruit trees that go unpicked in people’s yards, and became interested in preserving that fruit rather than let it go to waste. And Modern Gingham Preserves was born.
Tell us a little bit about what makes your products unique and interesting.
Where and how I source is probably the most interesting thing about my jam. Getting permission to pick the fruit from the trees allows me to get really high quality fruit, and really control each small batch of jam I make. Additionally, I think the jams are interesting in composition-not too sweet, any spices or liqueurs really compliment the fruit I am preserving. I like to think I make jam that really respects the integrity of the fruit I preserve-the flavor is preserved. There is nothing worse than having jam that looks like a fruit you’re familiar with, but when you taste it, it doesn’t taste like anything but sugar. Any sweetness from my jam is really the result of using ripe, locally grown, and locally sourced fruits that are preserved at their ideal time of ripeness.
How long have you lived in Colorado, and what do you love most about it?
I have been in Colorado for 4.5 years. I love the winters. After living in Chicago and Montreal, where winter was interminable and the sun really seemed like it had disappeared, I love knowing that one snowy day will be followed closely by a sunny one. And I really love the people here. Supportive, friendly, active, and energetic.
Are there any other Colorado artisans that you’re into right now?
I love Clean Getaway Soap. Best soap ever. And I love Zanitea. It’s a locally blended organic tea company in Denver. I don’t tend to like tea, even having a British guy in the house, but I love her tea.
We're excited about the special Easter Gift Box we've pulled together for this year!
Each product has been carefully crafted by a talented local artisan and is of the highest quality. There are hand-painted chocolates, a row of buttery caramels covered in chocolate and sprinkled with fleur de sel, a festive bunny relaxing in a pure chocolate nest surrounded by salted caramel eggs and gourmet jelly beans, and more.
Shipping is free on this limited edition box.
Colorado is the perfect place for a destination wedding, and our collections, favors, and gift boxes are a great way to share the best locally made artisanal products with friends and family who have traveled to celebrate your special day.
We can work with you to create boxes full of snacks, treats, and Colorado essentials to welcome guests to their hotels. We also have numerous options available for wedding favors, as well as larger gifts for your maid of honor or anyone else who's helped you pull together your big day.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch. Here are some of the ways we can work with you:
Absolutely! If you'd like, check out our current boxes to get an idea of the sorts of products we procure. Think about your goal price point. Then feel free to contact us at email@example.com and we'll get back to you right away so we can discuss the different options available.
Definitely. Our standard colors are black and white and we'd be happy to work with you to incorporate your preferred colors.
Yes we can. Each box includes a gift note printed on our standard stationary. We can work with you to include your own personalized note cards, hand written cards, instructions or directions, photos, a list your favorite spots for wedding guests to visit during their stay, and much more.
Yes, we can deliver to hotels and resorts in the greater Denver area for a small flat fee.
Yes, we love this idea. We're happy to work with you to source special products like this for you.
We're excited to announce that you can now buy the very best artisanal products of Colorado individually, from our Marketplace!
All products in our Marketplace are carefully selected. Each item is made with the highest quality ingredients by artisans who truly care about their craft. As a result, these products aren't easy to find. But they're worth it.
Whether you're restocking, shopping for something new and interesting, or wanting to share the best of Colorado with a loved one - this is the place.
One of our newest products is super fresh, flavorful nut butter by District Butter Co. We instantly fell in love with this product: from its well designed label to its ingredient list of simple whole foods, this nut butter shows off everything we love in a product. It is incredibly smooth and rich with a subtle hint of natural sweetness (yet it contains no sugar or honey)! We love it on toast, in smoothies and crepes, or straight from the spoon.
We met up with Clare in her kitchen space at Black Eye Coffee in Denver to watch the magic happen and learn a bit more about her philosophy.
How I Got Started::
Starting this almond butter company sort of happened over night. I just recently received my certificate in Health Coaching, and during school I got really good at experimenting in the kitchen and learning how to make most things myself... almond milk, crispy golden beet chips, kale chips, dips/sauces, etc. One of those things was almond butter. Turns out I liked it way more than what I was buying in any stores, so when my friend gave me the idea to sell it, I called a few friends who own some shops around town and the demand for a local nut butter turned out to be quite high!
What I Love Most and What Have I Created::
There are so many things that I love about making almond butter. There are so many different variations to try out all the time, and it is a really clean product. I like to use coconut oil in most of my nut butters because not only do you get some really healthy fats in there, but it creates a really creamy consistency. All of my nut butters have a really nice hint of sea salt that hits your palate at the end of each bite. My favorite flavor, and the one that seems to be the most popular, is the Walnut Almond Cinnamon. The walnut flavor is subtle and I must say it's quite addictive.
When I moved here::
I am a yoga teacher and Thai Massage Therapist, so when I make almond butter it gives me the chance to step away from all that energy exchange. I get to drink a cup of coffee, turn on some music, and make as many batches as I want. Friends like to come and visit too which makes it even better! I moved to Colorado from Baltimore 4 years ago to see what kind of life I could make, and new and interesting things keep happening which makes my experience so fun. Making almond butter is just one of them.
I am a HUGE fan of Denver's local artisans. There is such a strong locavore community, and everybody is really supportive of each other. I collaborated with Ritual Chocolate to make a Chocolate Almond Butter that turns out to be so delicious. Anna and Robbie over at Ritual are doing something really special and so I love working with people who have a similar goal in mind. This nut butter is simply chocolate, almonds, and sea salt. Yum.
I've got a lot of ideas for new nut butters all the time, but right now I am really enjoying the process and loving each step.
Tequila Jalapeno Deliciousness is a spicy spin on traditional preserves. It's fresh, citrusy, and bright with a slow burn thanks to plenty of freshly squeezed orange and lime juice, tons of plump jalapenos, and Boulder-made Suerte Tequila. These preserves are like a ray of bright sunshine - they'll liven things up wherever you use them.
Colorado Crafted is featured in the February issue of Sunset Magazine! Our new Hot Springs Box -- full of spicy "small-batch, hard-to-get-your-hands-on edibles" -- was selected for their Best of the West section. As long time subscribers to this great publication, we are just thrilled!
Click on the image below to check out the Hot Springs Box.