Whiskey barrel-aged maple syrup and raspberry jalapeno & kaffir lime preserves. Do we have your attention? Ryan Thornburg hopes so.
Benton Harbor-based Thornburg and Company
is a retailer and wholesaler of products featuring Michigan ingredients that was founded in 2011 by Thornburg and his wife Julie, both veterans of the food and hospitality industry.
Inspired by the West Michigan fruit belt and their culinary background, the Thornburgs have a sweet vision: to make small-batch, unique food items such as fruit preserves, honey, maple syrup and vinegars from raw ingredients found in West Michigan.
All the products are made in "small batches" from their commercial kitchen in Benton Harbor and are currently sold in dozens of specially stores i
n Illinois and West Michigan. You can also buy directly through their website and their store at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.
Thornburg says he currently employs two people and has three part-time employees at the
Downtown Market. Both Thornburgs are natives of southwest Michigan and have seen how attitudes are positively changing in support of locally sourced foods and artisanal processes. "The food scene has come a long way," says Thornburg. "The public is more receptive to buy local and support the state."
Thornburg says he plans to grow his business through both new product development and distribution. This year he expects to also expand to Northern Michigan and the east side of the state.
To learn more about Thornburg and Company you can visit their site here
or stop by the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor