edible enterprise

Preserves From The Backyard Food Company

By Christine Chitnis / Photography By Rupert Whiteley | March 01, 2015
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The Backyard Food Company
Matt McClelland and Louby Sukkar from The Backyard Food Company searched and found Hope & Main, whose opening came at just the right time.

The Backyard Food Company is a culinary collaboration between best friends and organic gardening enthusiasts Matt McClelland and Louby Sukkar. Three years ago a cancer diagnosis fueled Matt’s desire to learn where his food came from and how it was produced. With the help of Louby, he built a garden and planted over 100 tomato plants, which flourished and produced a bumper crop.

Using old family recipes, the two friends preserved the harvest and began gifting the products to their family and friends. The overwhelmingly positive response to their preserves pushed Matt and Louby to take their backyard business to the next level.

The first order of business was finding a facility where they could commercially produce their preserves. “We had already done a ton of the legwork and were well on our way,” says Matt, “but Hope & Main brought us a great deal of publicity. We were happy to be a part of something larger than ourselves.”

With a supportive community behind them, The Backyard Food Company has seen their products, which include Rhode Island Red Hot Relish, Big Apple Butter and Sweet Tomato Jam, land in over a dozen Whole Foods Markets in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well as smaller grocers throughout the region.

“We’re trying to support local family owned farms,” says Matt, “because our values mesh with their commitment to the land and we value their addition to the community.”

TheBackyardFoodCompany.com.


Christine Chitnis is author of the upcoming cookbook Little Bites: 100 Healthy, Kid-Friendly Snacks (Roost, July 2015). Visit her at ChristineChitnis.com

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