Makers of Minnesota is a podcast I have hosted for three years that tells the stories of Minnesota makers, their products and how they bring them to market. So far, I have recorded 152 episodes and release new ones every Wednesday. There is a wealth of creativity, generosity, and ingenuity right here in our very own State. This are a few of my favorite Minnesota made products that I’ve featured on the podcast.
Minnesota Made Products from Makers of Minnesota Podcast
Fred Haberman is a local marketing guru who decided to try his hand in the packaged food business after helping launch many organic foods for clients. His Freak Flag organic pestos have no cheese or nuts that you might find in traditional pestos, but they are full of flavors. I particularly love the kale pesto and use it as a base for grilled pizza, and the tomato pesto is terrific on pasta. Freak Flag is launching a new bone broth that will soon be on shelves at Whole Foods, so watch for it.
Local ice cream making Ashleigh Olds has a scoop shop called Sweet Science Ice Cream at the Keg and Case Market in St Paul. Ashleigh believes that ice cream is happiness, and I can’t disagree. I am a massive fan of her salty caramel and berry crumble sold in pint, and her latest creations are ice cream sandwiches. She makes a buttery blondie and fills it with berry bumble or banana ice cream with a salted caramel layer. These ice cream sandwiches will have you screaming for more and can be purchased at Keg and Case for curbside pick up, or at the scoop shop. Find her pints at the scoop shop, Twin Cities Kowalskis, your favorite co-ops, Lunds and Byerlys and Twin Cities Whole Foods.
KC Kye is the founder and CEO of K-Mama Sauce. KC grew up eating his mom’s spicy Korean food. He realized how hard it was to find quality Korean food and sauces after he moved to Minnesota. After 100 variations, he perfected K-Mama Sauce, a rich and spicy Korean hot sauce that adds deep and complex flavor to a variety of dishes like eggs and rice dishes. You can use it as a base for pizza, to glaze chicken or even as a ketchup substitute. K-Mama Sauce also gives 30% of its profits to local and national charities.
Husband and wife team Mike and Christine Nelson were both camp counselors and have roasted plenty of marshmallows in their day. The duo felt like there had to be a better marshmallow, so they created North Mallow Marshmallows. Unlike traditional marshmallows, they never use high fructose corn syrup, chemical preservatives, or anything artificial. These marshmallows taste way better and make delicious s’mores. They come in three varieties, including vanilla bean, caramel swirl, and chocolate chip. North Mallow will also cater your events and creates a really cute s’more bar. You can find these at Lunds and Byerlys, Kowalskis, Lakewinds, and the Wedge co-ops.
Laurie McCann Crowell is a local gem. She runs the Golden Fig Specialty Food Shop in St. Paul and has apprenticed with the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten, with whom she worked in East Hampton, New York. The Golden Fig carries lots of specialty products from other Minnesota makers, but they also make many of their own seasonal spice mixes, bottles of vinegar, soups, herbed butters and sauces. Since we are at the height of summer and just about to unleash the bounty of tomatoes from our gardens and farmers markets, you need to know about her basil balsamic vinegar. It’s beautiful sprinkled on tomatoes or on a caprese salad with torn basil leaves as a garnish. Try it in an avocado half or sprinkles on fresh greens. Her basil lemonade is also not to be missed. It’s a shortcut to the quintessential “Bootlegger” Minnesota cocktail and pairs great with vodka, gin, and a hint of soda water or ginger beer for a Moscow mule at home.