Editor’s note: This week, we’re featuring makers housed out of Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Foodworks. The incubator recently opened in the Pfizer Building and has a knock-out first class. Be sure to stay tuned as we highlight some the the city’s up-and-coming food and drink makers:
This is not the jam you grew up with on your PB&J. STAGG Jam & Marmalade comes in flavors like seasoned sorrel, spicy orange, smoky apple, rosemary grapefruit, lemon poppyseed and the crazy-delicious banana (which you could win in this week’s giveaway). That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put them on a PB&J, though: The smoky apple gives a grilled one the perfect bacon-like savory hit.
We talked to owner Candice Ross about her inspiration, how she wants to grow STAGG and which other makers she admires.
Edible Brooklyn: What inspired you to start your business?
Candice Ross: My family back in Louisiana, particularly my grandfather, Stagg, whom this company is named after. He has worked his entire life with his hands, making what my family needs. He is a farmer, mechanic and patriarch to over 60. His life is simple and meaningful, based around what he loves and who he shares it with. This is what I’ve set out to do: use my hands, produce a simple, quality product and have the joy of sharing that product. To me, it’s a philosophy, but for my family, it’s just a way of life.
EB: Why is Brooklyn still a great place for small business owners?
CR: Brooklyn is a big city made of small towns, and its residents are a big community made of so many individual cultures and ideas. It’s the perfect place to grow an idea because we are all ready to listen and be a part. Brooklynites have a strong sense of community; small start-up companies such as STAGG can only survive with the support of a tight-knit community. We rely heavily on each other and, I find, genuinely enjoy working alongside and helping each other—like a good neighbor!
EB: Where do you want to see your business in the next three years?
CR: Jam and marmalade will always be the base of STAGG, but I want the product line to continuously evolve and include baked goods, anchored by the jam and marmalade (i.e. jam-filled donuts and Pop-Tarts, anyone?).
I see STAGG expanding to a small storefront with a community of bakers and jammers that is not just a production space but also a place for experimenting and sharing—a location to produce, distribute and just sit down over tasty creations, a place to brainstorm with the community and make something together. STAGG will always be anchored by the idea of helping to grow the community through the practice of making and sharing. Our little contribution right now happens to only be jams and marmalade.
EB: Who are the other local makers you admire?
CR: I really admire Ovenly for all the work they are doing to try to better society around them—that and they happen to make such delicious baked goods, too. The simplicity, quality and sense of neighborhood that The Meat Hook provides. Crown Finish Caves for how they are working to preserve and celebrate history through reviving a space while simultaneously growing with and through fellow local producers. All of those companies think community involvement is important and it shows.
EB: Where can we find your products?
CR: Currently, you can find me selling and beta testing new flavors at Smorgasburg every Saturday at the East River Park. STAGG is used in menus and sold by the jar throughout the city:
R&D Foods; Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain; Riverdel Cheese; Kos Kaffe Roasting House; Greenpoint Meat & Cheese; Nagle’s Bagels; Clove Kitchen Market; Brooklyn Kolache Co. (in menu); Glady’s Caribbean (in menu). And on our website!