Georgia Magazine - November 2012 - (Page 28A)

Georgia made Sugar and spice; pickles and treats BY JANE F. GARVEY Bonus conten t More good things to eat and drink from Georgia hands M any Georgians earn a living through food, whether growing or cooking it. They may spice it up or sweeten the experience in some way. They may pickle it, brine it, bake it or cure it. But they will make a business out of it. Georgians’ taste for preserves and conserves is whetted by some of these selections, and while some are the profit of a hobby, still others (most) are the result of carefully devised business plans that launched new enterprises. Just one example from our November 2011 products feature [see “A productive state: Georgia products are diverse and innovative,” page 22], shows the remarkable path some of these have taken. Linda Gibson’s GG’s Fine Foods has now opened a retail store in Roswell at 34 Webb St., (678) 499-0511. That’s quite a leap from selling only at farmers markets, although Gibson still sells at selected farmers markets. And her crawfish pies now are in about a half-dozen Atlanta-area Kroger stores, which soon will also sell her seasonings, she says. In just one year! So, on these pages you may find the business story of the decade, as Georgians work through these tough economic times to get ahead and reap the rewards of their labors. Sweet stories Fairywood Thicket embraces a fabulous line of jams, jellies, chutneys and preserves, beginning with the elderberries that grow wild on Fairburn property owned by Kimberly and John Conner. It all began in summer 2004, as the couple was planning to clear bushes and weeds from a horse pasture on their land in south Fulton County. Dining at home in Douglasville with a friend and his wife, the Connors listened as their guests expressed horror at such a plan, because of the elderberries growing wild on the property. Intrigued, the Connors asked questions, beginning with “What is an elderberry?” That epiphany moment started a life’s work. Today, the couple divides duties at area farmers markets to sell their delectable products. But the big time has begun to notice. The Loews Atlanta Hotel in Midtown displays a selection of these beauties on its breakfast bar for guests to enjoy. And that’s just one of several highend clients that purchase the jams for their guests. Honey Cardamom Fig marries beautifully with cheese, such as CalyRoad Creamery’s Camembert or Sweet Grass Dairy’s Greenhill. Any of the various chutneys would dress up a platter of cold roast meats. The Pecan Pie Jam is so good, one spoonful on a scone, and you’re in heaven. The Connors carefully craft their tasty goods using locally grown (and sometimes wild) fruits, sugar (never corn syrup), spices and pectin. Sometimes flowers play a role, as in the strawberry lavender jam. And, of course, elderberry is first and foremost. For more information, visit www.fairywood Atlanta-born and Georgia- and Florida-reared, Kerry Graham loved the hand-dipped chocolate, peanut brittle, fruitcake and toffee his mother and sister made for the holidays. As Tallahassee, Fla., residents, Kerry and his wife, Phyllis, befriended neighbors Pierre and Rainey Vivier. Born in France, Pierre owned a restaurant, Chez Pierre, in Tallahassee, after doing a stint as pastry chef at Le Bistro in Macon. 28A At Peachtree Road Farmers Market, Fairywood Thicket’s John Connor sells jams that wife Kimberly makes. Kimberly, meanwhile, sells them at Sandy Springs Farmers Market. Inset: Natural fruits and sugar form the foundation for Fairywood Thicket’s distinctive jams. November 2012 JANE F. GARVEY More online at

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - November 2012

Georgia Magazine - November 2012
Picture This?
Liberty Notes
Georgia News
Calendar of Events
Festival Guide
Homes for the Holidays
Flip-Flops and Caviar: Winning Georgia Products
More Great Georgia Products
Around Georgia
Lodging and Dining on the North Georgia Art Ramble
My Georgia
Statement of Ownership
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks
More Snapshot Submissions
Second Helping: More Holiday Side Dishes
Plant of the Month
November Online Trivia Contest

Georgia Magazine - November 2012