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March 6, 2023

Roots and Spoon

This month we are happy to introduce you to Laura Lee, owner of Roots and Spoon, one of the many local vendors that feed our community each Sunday at The Farm Market.

Laura is a canning genius and is bringing old fashioned, yet remastered recipes to the plates of the greater Lowell community, taking tried and true teachings from her grandmother Nettie, and adding her own spin using local, seasonal ingredients.

“I actually never liked pickles.” Says Laura. “Then I tried my grandmother’s bread and butter pickles and fell in love. She used to send them to me in college in Boston. And then when I moved to Texas…….” she said, I’m not shipping pickles to Texas. Here’s the recipe. Figure it out. That’s how I started canning.”

Laura was making pickles to sell on a small scale locally in Texas but reevaluated canning as a business once she returned home to Boston in 2020. She made the leap to make Roots and Spoons her full-time career in October, receiving guidance, mentorship, and practical knowledge from the E for All Accelerator program. She values the time she has to have her own business and grow it the way she wants to and to learn as she goes. Plus, she just generally loves feeding people.  

“I source all of the major pieces of produce from local farms. I put the name of the farm on the back of the jar, and then I use certified organic sugar, and I really focus on small batches to keep it high quality.”

Her menu is constantly changing because of the seasons which is fun, but it can be disappointing for her regular customers who have their favorites products, but she sees it as an opportunity for folks to try new things as she points out that our palates are always changing. During the winter months she’s focused on items from the root cellar paired with unique flavors such as lemon and clove red beets, orange and thyme golden beets, a white wine and tarragon chioggia beet and pickled cabbage with beet and ginger. Obviously, this time of year, there is no fresh fruit but she makes a crave-worthy spiced apple chutney from stored apples.

Beets are kind of earthy and have a subtle sweetness that pairs well with citrus. For those who may be scared of the sweetness of a pickled beet or chutney, Laura says her customers are surprised to find out how little sugar she actually uses because of the natural sweetness which already occurs in the quality of the produce she uses. Those that haven’t tried one of her flavors are encouraged to use them in a salad, in a grilled cheese or straight out of the jar. I take out that dirt flavor that people associate with beets and I’ve converted beet haters with my pickled beets.”

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