Award-winning specialty food manufacturer Stonewall Kitchen is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Based in York, Maine, the privately held company was started in 1991 by New England natives Jim Stott and Jonathan King. Today, both men continue to be actively involved.
Operating out of their home in Hampton, N.H., the two gardeners, waiters and foodies started by bottling products at night on an apartment-sized stove and then selling the items at local farmers’ markets. Response was overwhelmingly positive, and soon the pair was wholesaling their handmade specialty foods throughout New England. Customers were and still are struck by the unique flavor combinations, creative and well-designed packaging, and consistent quality for which Stonewall Kitchen is known. Along with dozens of individual awards, Stonewall Kitchen products have earned the National Association for Specialty Food Trade’s Outstanding Product Line Award three times as well as several recognitions for Maine-based businesses.
To commemorate its 20-year milestone, the company is introducing Wild Maine Blueberry Champagne Jam, inspired by the company’s No. 1 selling product, Wild Maine Blueberry Jam. This is a limited-reserve product.
During the summer of 2011, Stonewall Kitchen will mark its 20th anniversary with a special project developed in conjunction with the George Marshall Store Art Gallery, a part of the Old York Historical Society, and Jacqueline Nooney, landscape designer and owner of Nooney Landscaping and Design. The project is called “From Garden to the Kitchen” and will feature a major installation of art in the expansive gardens at Stonewall Kitchen’s headquarters in York, Maine. Approximately 20 artists from the area will be selected to participate in this creative project that will tie each artist’s vision of the bounty of the harvest to the kitchen table. Opening parties, celebrations of the installation and special activities at the gallery are planned for the summer.
Stonewall Kitchen has nine company stores along the East Coast, a worldwide wholesale division, Internet and direct-to-consumer sales channels, a cooking school, a café and a state-of-the-art production facility. It employs a yearly average of 300 people.