As part of my work on the Makers Of Minnesota podcast, I get to meet wonderful Twin Cities entrepreneurs making cool things throughout the state of Minnesota. There are some great products being made in Minnesota and it’s always fun to share them with The Jason Show.
Here are some of my recent favorites.
My Favorite Things from Minnesota Makers
These are traditional shortbread cookies made with four simple ingredients: butter, flour, salt, and sugar. It was a dessert well known to owner Ken Velky’s Grandma Isabella MacKenzie. For years, Ken baked Grandma MacKenzie’s shortbread recipe as gifts for friends and family. After he got married, he was introduced through his mother-in-law to another delectable shortbread recipe: Millionaires Shortbread, drizzled with homemade caramel and soft, rich chocolate. This recipe came from Grandma Patricia McIntyre. Currently, the flavors include the Millionaire and the original shortbread plus chocolate chunk, pecan, lemon and raspberry, and white chocolate. Dueling Grandmas Shortbread Cookies, $30 variety box
One of my favorite places to spend an afternoon is the General Store of Minnetonka. They carry tons of products made in Minnesota and have a wonderful foodie gift section. I could not help but feature these hilarious double-walled “Real Housewives” wine tumblers branded for various “high-brow” Minneapolis suburbs or customized with the name of your Book Club or Ladies League. $26.95
I love little luxuries and Face Foundrie is a quick luxurious spa experience. Started by Michelle Henry, a serial entrepreneur and mom of three who started Primp Boutiques, Face Foundrie has lash extensions, facial waxing 20- to 40-minute facials, and an array of custom curated skincare products. She developed a Collagen Spritz that I love and have bought for all my friends and family. The spray is instantly hydrating, it smells good and works as a daily skin revitalizing booster. $42
Wild State Cider from Duluth has paired with Fair State Brewing in Northeast Minneapolis to release a winter seasonal grapefruit hopped cider called Ruby. Ruby is the result of a socially distant collaboration between head cidermaker Andrew Price and founding brewer Niko Tonks. Tonks experimented with the Ruby Red grapefruit blend shipped by Wild State and selected Sultana hops to pair with this winter fruit. The result of the pairing is a beautiful, crisp, and light cider that drinks like a sparkling wine. It’s effervescent, smells wonderful and is my new obsession. Find 4-packs in the Wild State taproom in Duluth, online, and statewide in Minnesota and in NW Wisconsin. $11.99 for a 4-pack
These small-batch, clean ingredient (No MSG or weird fillers) vegetarian meatballs are being made in Two Harbors, Minnesota. They taste delicious, are easy to prepare and come in many different varieties. I enjoy the pepper and cheese in a marinara sauce or the sweet and tangy paired with barbecue sauce in a slow cooker with a toothpick or a hoagie bun. You can buy them in the freezer section at HyVee, Twin Cities Co-ops and Jerrys Foods, or Coborn’s delivers. Or, $31 for a two lb. box shipped at ruthsgourmet.com
Isadore Nut Company was started in 2013 by Tasya Kelen. They craft delicious, healthy, and award-winning snacks and nuts made by people of all abilities in Golden Valley, MN. They source the highest quality ingredients from people, not big corporations because sourcing locally and sustainably is a big part of what they do. Their Rosemary Lemon mix won a Good Food Award in 2020 and their Chai holiday Mix won this year. $20 for two grab and go bags