Knowing Your Neighbors: Duluth Preserving Company

DULUTH, Minn. — For Mary Dragich, making jam is something that’s always been a part of her life.

“It was family,” she explains.  “The first jam I remember making is what we called Christmas Jam.”

And something she’s been doing since she was a little girl became part of her dream of owning a business.

And in a church kitchen in Duluth, Mary founded the Duluth Preserving Company, maintaining her core principals of health, tradition, and complicity.

“That’s the heart of the company – making a really good product in a traditional fashion, and in a healthy way,” Dragich said.

She likes to keep it simple, making jams with just fruit, real sugar or honey, a bit of lemon juice, and some spices.

The Christmas Jam recipe lives on as a strawberry-cranberry jam she sells today.

“Just a lot of basic fruit and fruit and spice combinations,” Dragich said.  “We don’t do any pepper jellies or exotic fruits.  It’s mostly just the local flavor kind of jam that we offer.”

And that’s all there is to it – a very simple ingredient list, no preservatives, or high fructose corn syrup.

Her recipes have already garnered a positive response from the locals.

“It’s in small batches, it’s hand-made, it’s not automated, so that’s a big difference,” Dragich said. “I feel that there’s an authenticity in what I do that maybe isn’t there in a bigger company.”

And it’s that authenticity that Mary feels really strikes a chord with her most loyal customers.

“I value the tradition of still carrying on something that I learned as a child,” she said.

Duluth Preservation Company jams are sold at a number of shops and restaurants in the area.

They have a website with a list of the jams they offer and where to by them.

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