Written by Jacqueline Fox, Outreach Coordinator
Gretchen Christina Maser got started in her business quite by accident. A friend taught her how to can and prepare jams in 1990 and let’s say she took a liking to it. She made so much excess jam, she started giving it away to family, friends and acquaintances. Eventually that led to selling, and her business was born.
In addition to offering a line of jams, soups, spices, sauces and vinaigrettes, Gretchen also produces soy wax candles and a line of bath and body products. Other than her friend teaching her how to make jam all those years ago, Gretchen is self-taught with an innate knack for creating successful products.
Now in business for 15 years, Gretchen just this past summer moved her operation into a 2,000 square foot building with separate offices and a commercial kitchen in Lancaster, PA. Prior to that, she operated her business from the lower level of her house. In front of her new office building she has three raised beds where she has planted many of the herbs used in the products she produces. In addition, Gretchen employs an Amish family to grow herbs for the business on their property, while the daughters work for her in the shop. Staying true to using and producing with locally sourced ingredients and supplies, and working with growers who are committed to transparency and sustainability is of upmost importance to Gretchen and her business. No preservatives, fillers, or additives are used in any of her jam or vinaigrette recipes.
What inspires Gretchen Christina Maser: both good food, and bad food! “People need to eat better, and stop eating food that just isn’t worth it! There are lots of great food choices out there; and great growers and producers; and some really helpful people willing to teach anyone who truly wants to eat better how to choose better."
Make sure you stop by the Co-op on the two Christina Maser demo days to experience some great tasting products:
- On Thursday, March 12, from 4:30 – 6:30, we are sampling jams: Blueberry Lime, Peach Habanero, and Raspberry.
- On Saturday, March 28, 12:30 – 2:30, we will be sampling vinaigrettes: Blueberry Balsamic and Ginger Pear.