It all started when...
I was taught how to can by my great uncle, "Uncle Ray". He grew up in a small coal mining town called Charmco in the mountains of West Virginia. They had a farm and canning was practical and necessary for surviving the long winter months there. They did not have much money so the only things they would buy from a grocery store were salt, flour and sugar.
Uncle Ray passed on his canning skills to me, and although I do not can for survival like he and my family did growing up, I maintain their traditional methods and continue canning because; It helps support local agriculture, tastes better, is fresher, promotes sustainable food, helps avoid damaging natural resources, and it allows me to know exactly what I’m eating!
Growing up in St. Petersburg, FL I was exposed to cultural food-diversities and I developed a taste for unique flavors, textures and ingredients. Those sensitivities combined with my high country roots are really the foundation of my recipes. I strive to keep my palette modern and relevant while still staying true to the old country staples I grew up eating out of the pantry every summer while I was visiting my family.
One of my great passions in life is breaking bread with friends, loved ones and people in general. Through The Urban Canning Co. I have been able to live that passion, share my love of good food and educate others about all natural food preservation.
Illene Sofranko, Owner and Founder
We offer one of a kind, hand crafted and naturally preserved foods such as jams, pickles, beer mustards, sriracha and sauerkraut. We specialize in interesting flavor compositions and utilize only the freshest produce. During Florida farming season we work closely with local farms and highlight many seasonal limited small batch preserves.
Our products are preserved using traditional methods so you won't find any artificial ingredients of any kind in our jars!
Our kitchen also has a tasting room and retail where we sell canning supplies and a variety of our heirloom foods. Out of our space we teach canning classes and host homesteading workshops as well.