In the face of a global pandemic, Cellar Door Preserves has learned to stand out in a competitive and ever-changing market. Supporting local business has never been more important, and we talked with Zenobia Taylor-Weiss, the Owner/Operator of Cellar Door about how they continue to stand out and thrive.
Cellar Door Preserves is based in the heart of Grand Rapids, MI. Using goods from local vendors such as Visser Farms, Nyblad Family Orchard, West Michigan Farmlink, and Cherry Capital Foods, among others, Zenobia creates unexpected flavor combinations. From Blueberry/Ghost Pepper, to Nectarine/Rosemary, to their very popular Tomato/Red Pepper, they have flavor combinations that stand out from the pack.
The packaging on every jam is completely unique and helps the product stand out on a shelf and in your pantry. Zenobia commissions local artists and feels it’s important that packaging add to your cheese board or party spread, not take away.
“I wanted something that looked beautiful on its own – that people would put directly on the table or their cheese boards without needing to find another container,” says Zenobia.
Cellar Door, among other local small businesses have seen an explosion of innovative support from their communities lately. Zenobia, as well as other local business owners, has had to adapt and collaborate to shift in an unexpected market.
For Zenobia, this looked like creating care packages with local vendors, shifting sales from in-person interactions to investing time and energy online, and creating innovative uses for her product.
“I love finding innovative ways to use jam,” says Zenobia. “My current favorites are: in cocktails, on cheese boards, and in salad dressings. On my website I have a cocktail collection and a dressing collection – with those you get three jars of preserves and a recipe card for three cocktails/dressings. But overall, I think our preserves make a great hostess gift as an alternative to a bottle of wine.”
Innovative branding, shifting with the marketplace, and community support have helped Cellar Door Preserves grow in a time of uncertainty. Zenobia was able to hone her craft and develop new flavors, as well as innovate her online and wholesale process.
If you would like to support Cellar Door Preserves you can order via their website: https://cellardoorpreserves.com/ or purchase at local Grand Rapids stores, such as Bridge Street Market. Jams are also available for wholesale in large tubs (they make great sandwich additions!).
If you’re looking for a flavor to gift Zenobia recommends: “Peach Jam with Brown Sugar – everyone likes it – I think it tastes like peach pie in a jar!”
Samantha Denman is a writer and photographer in Grand Rapids, MI. Check out her professional page, https://www.samantharuthphotos.com/.