When FoodLab was asked to provide a locally-sourced lunch for a group of Michigan Legislators from the Agriculture Committee, the story we aimed to tell with our lunch was an intimate one. With the help of Molly O'Meara, co-founder of Beau Bien Fine Foods, and Shauna Barthel, founder of Mary Jane's Sweets, we were able to tell the story of a summer day in Detroit. One where the strawberries are at their ripest and they've been mixed with a touch of sugar and cooked down to a sweet, spreadable memory.
They captured the flavor of the fruit and provided summertime spread on shortbread. Molly said, "Being a FoodLab member gives us a deeper understanding of community and allows us to collaborate in meaningful ways." Molly and Shauna, both FoodLab members, worked together to create a shortbread cookie using Beau Bien's Detroit Strawberry & Basil preserve.
"Beau Bien Fine Food's is inspired by our region's amazing bounty of fruit and the time-honored tradition of preserving", said Molly.
Shauna makes the cookies at Mary Jane's Sweets by hand, using only the finest natural ingredients, with no preservatives or artificial flavors. Each batch is made from scratch, mixed in small quantities, and hand-scooped to ensure a delicious homemade taste and texture. For Shauna, the inspiration behind her shortbread cookies are the recipes that were created by her grandmother. "My mom, Mary Jane, has been baking them ever since,” she said. "Food Lab has been an invaluable resource to begin building a baking business. From the directors to the other members, it has provided motivation and encouragement to move forward."
We were thrilled to bring these two FoodLabbers together to create a special cookie that allowed folks to experience the enjoyment that comes from eating simple, delicious, handcrafted foods made with products sourced from Detroit neighborhoods.