Strawberry Basil Preserves, Wild Blueberry Merlot Preserves, and Blueberry Lavender Preserves…unique names for preserves, right? Maybe, but wait until you try them. These are some of the longstanding, top-selling products from Food For Thought, a local company that stands up to its name on a daily basis. Founded in 1995 by Timothy Young, Food For Thought not only strives to be 100 percent socially conscious every day, they truly live up to it by following their mantra “to create and raise awareness around just and sustainable food.” The products created by FFT are certified organic and GMO-free. Many are also certified Fair Trade, Gluten Free, and Kosher.

In the beginning, Food For Thought had six or eight products, mostly preserves, according to Young. Currently, there are around 40, spanning two brands. A recently added product that is selling like gangbusters is their Bourbon Caramel Sauce, sold under the Esch Road Foods brand created by Young in 2012. Just like Food For Thought, all Esch Road Foods products are premium and handcrafted on Young’s organic farm near Empire. Also, 1 percent of sales are donated to nonprofits that seek to educate about and protect the Great Lakes. It is called their “1 percent for the Great Lakes Campaign”.

Food For Thought uses ingredients grown in the local bioregion. This means there will be no pineapple this or mango that. Their sourcing criterion is close to home, with many supplemental ingredients such as peppers and chives grown on their organic family farm. In the search for ingredients, the priority is always local first, then regional, then Michigan-wide. Some of my favorites are the Bean and Corn Salsa and the Wild Leek Marinara. Both offer amazing textures and flavors that bring your taste buds alive. The Great Lakes Pear Preserves offer a unique and tasty change from the everyday. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, you just can’t go wrong with any of these products, so why not try them all?

Soon, Food For Thought will move operations to a new home. The company recently purchased the former Long Lake Elementary School near Moomers on the west side of Traverse City. As soon as the building is remodeled and retrofitted to their needs, the facility will serve as a production facility, with retail space and farming on site as well. In addition, the new location will house extra commercial food processing space designed for small start-ups looking for a place to cook and warehouse products.

Visit the FFT website at foodforthought.net to find a retailer or to order online. Be sure to try the Star Thistle Honey – it’s oh so good to eat and oh so good for you.  Me? I’m off to find a jar of that Bourbon Caramel Sauce for my Moomers ice cream.

Food For Thought 10710 Oviatt Rd., Honor 49690 l (231) 590-3108 l FoodForThought.net