We're Turning 5!

blog.png

We’re turning 5 next week on March 2nd, and we’re feeling all kinds of nostalgic! Read on as we take you through the little journey of where The Urban Canning Company started and where it is now.

YEAR 1 (2014)

In March 2014, The Urban Canning Company was founded by owner, Illene Sofranko. We had lots of different jam and pickle variations, a few of which have become our core product line. From special fruits, or Jam of the Month Club, sometimes we’ll bring back old jam flavors, and it’s always so fun!

We also started our first collaboration that year with Green Bench Brewing Co, a local brewery. We started using their beer in our beer mustards, and the rest is history! They were also our first retailer to carry us on their shelves, and you can still find our Sweet German and Spicy Stout beer there today!

YEAR 2 (2015)

We quickly outgrew our commercial kitchen and moved into a kitchen on Central Ave with a small business friend. As we grew, we started needing to hire our first crew! We hired a small market crew, and one of them, Sam, eventually became our first kitchen manager.

Markets quickly became one of the main ways you could find us around the Tampa Bay area, and we started traveling to other bigger markets in other states like Chicago, and South Carolina.

YEAR 3 (2016)

Within that last year we had started to grow out of the kitchen space again and knew it was time to find our own home. We signed a lease to our kitchen on 4th Street, and got to work on the inside. After months of work and stress we were finally able to open our shop and production kitchen!

That meant we could start hosting and having workshops and classes. Our first workshop with with O’Berry’s Succulents, doing a wreath workshop! Now you will find classes on jam making, pickling, canning, bee keeping and more.

We really expanded our wholesale program and were accepted into a great number of retailers in and out of state! We also discovered our love from creating coffee syrups and started collaborating with Bandit Coffee Co. You can still find our syrups there today! Have you tried a Bouquet Latte or a Maple Walnut Latter yet?

YEAR 4 (2017)

At the beginning of the year we launched what is now one of our top selling products, Jam of the Month Club! ( We almost have 100 members now!) A club where founder/owner Illene could use her elevated palette and creativity to come up with super exclusive jams you can only get in the club.

We expanded our online store to include our canned products and opened up shipping to all of the continental United States! We also started our recipe blog currently found on our site where you can find recipes made with our products. We post about one or two new recipes every week!

Towards the end of the year, we started another fun coffee syrup collab with our good friends at Union by Commune and Co at Armature Works. We created their top-selling latte syrup Horchata, and a specialty Coffee Cola syrup you can get on tap. Each season we create new syrups, so check it out now to see what’s on the menu!

YEAR 5 (2018)

Most of year five was very difficult for us. We experienced a lot of hardships many small businesses do, and it threatened to shut us down. But through re-focusing, hard work, and team work, we came out the other side more inspired and doing well.

Very excitingly we launched our new branding and labels! These were labels that included barcodes and nutrition facts. They updated our look, and allowed us to get into grocery stores. Speaking of those, we were able to get into some local grocery stores that were only dreams at one point. You can now find us in both Rollin’ Oats, Nature’s Food Patch, and Lucky’s Markets in St. Pete, and all 4 in Orlando!

Good Things Coming In Year 6

We don’t plan on slowing down, and you’re going to start seeing some very exciting things coming from us this year, like:

  • online workshops (out of state friends rejoice!)

  • canning e-books (yup you ready that right)

  • packaging our coffee syrups for retail

  • launching a lifestyle canning blog featuring education, recipes, city guides, drinks and so much more

We can’t wait for you all to join us in this next year, but for now, let’s celebrate!

xoxo,
The Ladies of Urban Canning

Perfect Pairings: Peppered Strawberry Jam + Truffle Tremor Cheese

U4s1zfHk.jpg

It’s a jam and cheese perfect pairings: Valentine’s Day edition! We feel like there’s nothing more romantic than truffles in anything. But romance aside, Truffle Tremor cheese is SO GOOD! Let us just tell you about it.

So Truffle Tremor is a cheese that comes from a creamery in California. It’s soft and smooth and have two types of texture! The middle texture is like a typical goat cheese texture, and the outside is like a brie. But the game changer here is that there are literal pieces of truffles throughout!

Right now, you can find this cheese at Lucky’s Market in Saint Pete where, NEWS FLASH, you can also find us! So while you’re grabbing the essentials for a romantic evening charcuterie board, our jams, like Peppered Strawberry, are over on aisle 3 and we’re so excited!

To make this delicious treat we toasted cuban bread from La Segunda, (also at Lucky’s) a local Ybor institution for cuban bread and the sandwiches. After the bread was toasted we smeared on the Truffle Tremor cheese, and topped it with fresh prosciutto, and Peppered Strawberry Jam!

We hope this combo leads to lots of romance on this Valentine’s Day! xoxo

Honeybell Pickin' Farm Trip

JjpKpL-Q.jpg

We’re pretty lucky that winter in Florida typically means sunny days, breezy wind, and golden orange citrus. This week we took a trip out to Dooley Groves to hand pick some special home-grown honeybells for February’s Jam of the Month!

We spent a beautiful day out in the groves plucking the JUICIEST honeybells from the trees. There’s nothing like spending a day on the farm and then preserving it at it’s peak. This month’s Jam of the Month will feature these oranges in a Creamsicle Marmalade that will have you feeling like a kid again. We took honeybell oranges, and fresh vanilla bean to create this and we can’t WAIT for you all to try! Not a member of the Jam of the Month Club? You can sign up here!

Have you ever done a U-Pick in Florida? It’s about the time of year where you can pick all kinds of fruit for yourselves like strawberries, blueberries, citrus, blackberries, and more! We love to take advantage of Florida’s fruit season. You can find U-Pick farms in your area by clicking on the county of your preference below. Happy picking!

Hillsborough County
Pasco County
Manatee County
Polk County
Sarasota County

Apple Pie Toast

PYcnWM4c.jpg

You know those morning where you want something cozy, comforting, and a little sweet for breakfast? We got you. We know what you’re really wanting is a warm slice of pie, but let’s be honest, we know we can’t eat that most mornings. In comes our Apple Pie Toast, which is dare we say it better than eating actual pie for breakfast?! We toasted some break in the cast iron skillet, smeared some Mascarpone cheese on it, and topped it with our Spiced Apple jam, granola, and an apple slice. A little savory, a little sweet, a lot satisfying.

Now if you don’t know anything about our Spiced Apple jam, it’s basically apple pie in a jar. With a flavor complex similar to apple butter, but all the spices you’d find in an apple pie. Check out what’s in it in our picture below.

unnamed.jpg

Spiced Apple Jam

• Ginger

•Cinnamon

• Nutmeg

• Clove

• Allspice

• Granny Smith Apples (to balance out the sweetness)

Apple Pie Toast

To create 1 piece of toast you'll need:

• 1 slice of multi grain bread
• 1/4 cup of olive oil
• 1 Tb Mascarpone cheese
• 1 Tb Spiced Apple Jam
• 1 Tb granola
• thinly sliced granny smith apples
• cast iron skillet

Instructions:

1. Heat up your cast iron skillet on medium high.
2. Now add 1/4 cup of olive oil to the pan.
3. Fry both sides of the bread slice until toasted and brown. It takes me close to 5 minutes per side. (NOTE: If you are making more than 1 piece of toast you will need to keep adding 1/4 cup of olive oil in the pan before each slice of toast goes in)
4. After the bread is fried smear the Mascarpone cheese all over it.
5. Next top the Mascarpone cheese with the Spiced Apple jam, granola, and apples.
6. Add a dash of cinnamon and enjoy!


If you've had a chance to use our preserves in a dish or want to share a canning recipe with us use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Market's + Events page or Shop Online! Cheers!

Fresh Strawberry Jam Daiquiri

Oir4MpdA.jpg

If you made it our to our Strawberry Jam Pop Up Event a couple weekends ago, then you got to sip on the deliciousness that was the Strawberry Jam Daiquiri! Created masterfully by our friends at The Pink Pineapple, a new tiki bar coming soon to Seminole Heights in Tampa, we knew we had to share this recipe with our strawberry jam loving customers!

We love how fresh this daiquiri tastes with a handmade strawberry puree, and how it’s perfectly sweet. This drink is ideal for sunny afternoons or the hot summer days that are soon coming. We used our seasonal Strawberry Bourbon jam, but you could use Peppered Strawberry, or any of the other limited batch strawberry jams we’ve released this year!

5OSTapLI.jpg

Strawberry Jam Daiquiri

Makes 1 drink

Ingredients
•1.5oz Santa Teresa rum
•1oz Strawberry purée
•1/2oz rich simple syrup
•1/2 tsp of Strawberry Bourbon jam
•Two lime wedges squeezed and more for garnish

1. Shake all ingredients with ice until frothy.

2. Strain into chilled glass with ice, and garnish with lime wedge!


If you've had a chance to use our preserves in a dish or want to share a canning recipe with us use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Market's + Events page or Shop Online! Cheers!

Strawberry Habanero Salsa

pnSq_vH8.jpg

Is anyone getting sick of strawberries yet? No? GOOD. We never tire of these juicy babes, and we never tire of new ways to use them, like preserving them so we can enjoy them for the rest of the year! You may remember that we came up with a peach salsa last summer, so we thought a strawberry winter salsa with some habanero heat was the best way to bring some warmth to the cooler days we get!

Our favorite supplies:
Canner with canning rack
Jar Lifter
Canning Scoop
Canning Funnel


Strawberry Jalapeño Salsa

Makes about 3 pint jars

  • 4 cups of diced strawberries

  • 1 yellow pepper diced

  • 1 green pepper diced

  • 1 red onion diced

  • 1/2 habanero diced - deseed for less heat
    *for a lot less heat, you can use 2 jalapeños*

  • 2 cloves of garlic diced

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro diced

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 4 tb brown sugar

  • 1 tsp salt from Florida Pure Sea Salt

Instructions:

  1. Fill your canner about 3/4 full of water and place it on the back of your stove. Allow it to come to a boil.

  2. Wash your jars, lids and rings in hot soapy water by hand. Place lids and rings on a dish towel on your counter or table.

  3. Mix all ingredients listed above into a non-reactive sauce pan and bring to a boil. *NOTE: Wear gloves when handling habanero peppers because they will burn much worse than jalapeños.

  4. Once it's boiling bring the mixture down to a simmer and allow it to simmer, stirring it frequently, for 10 minutes.

  5. Place canning funnel onto your jars and ladle in salsa mixture leaving 1 inch head space. 1 inch is the bottom thread on the neck of the jar from the top. With a damp cloth or paper towel, wipe the rim and thread of each jar.

  6. Add lids and rings to each jar, closing each finger tight.

  7. Once your hot water bath canner is at a full rolling boil, using canning tongs add jars to the canning rack then submerge canning rack into the pot.

  8. Check and make sure there is at least 2 inches of water over the tops of the jars and that the water is at a full rolling boil.

  9. Put lid on and process jars for 15 minutes.

  10. When your timer is up remove lid and using jar lifter take jars out of the canner and place them onto the dish towel to cool overnight.

  11. Next day check to make sure that the lids are sealed. Date jars and store in a cool dry place. If you have any lids that don't seal place in fridge for immediate use.

Are you intimidated by the canning process? We don't want you to be! Canning is a preservation method used for hundreds of years, and we want you to feel confident doing it at home! We teach how to pickle, can, and jam in our workshops. Click here to find a class!


Do you have any questions about the canning instructions, or need help troubleshooting? Leave your question in the comments, or message us on Instagram!

Strawberry Lavender Compote

unspecified-6.jpg

Now that strawberry season in Florida is alive and well, we’ve got a feeling you’re going to end up with some extra berries over the next couple months. These sweet gems are the perfect addition to so many dishes, but we all know too well how quickly they can go bad.

So next time you have a pound of strawberries that are about to go bad, gather them up and make a strawberry lavender compote! We were inspired from a recipe in the book our friend Stephanie Thurow wrote: WECK Small-Batch Preserving. If you’re looking for a bunch of delicious and easy canning, and fermenting recipes, this book is a go-to!

We adapted her Strawberry Compote to add a little vanilla and lavender kick. Feel free to try your own flavors and spices! We also show you how to make it two ways: traditionally canned, and refrigerator style. Both are simple, easy, and slurp up yummy. Read below for the recipe.

STRAWBERRY LAVENDER COMPOTE

Adapted from WECK Small-Batch Preserving

This canning recipe is for 1 pint jar and can be multiplied.
The fridge compote version of this recipe is for 2 pint sized jars and can be multiplied.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound strawberries

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 4 TB lemon juice

  • 1 tsp lavender buds (optional)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions for canning (see below for Quick Fridge Compote Recipe):

  1. Fill your canner about 3/4 full of water and place it on the back of your stove. Allow it to come to a boil.

  2. Wash your jars, lids and rings in hot soapy water by hand. Place lids and rings on a dish towel on your counter or table.

  3. Mix all Add water, sugar, lemon juice, lavender and vanilla to small stock pot or large sauce pan and bring to a boil.

  4. Add whole, hulled strawberries and cook together for 2-5 minutes stirring frequently. Then remove from heat.

  5. Place the canning funnel on your jar and ladle in brine leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. (1/2 inch headspace is the last line of the thread at the neck of the jar). Fill all jars this way.

  6. With a damp cloth or paper towel wipe the rim of each jar.

  7. Add lids and rings to each jar, closing each finger tight. You don't have to crank it down hard, just snug.

  8. Add lids and rings to each jar, closing each finger tight. You don't have to crank it down hard, just snug.

  9. Once your hot water bath canner is at a full rolling boil, using canning tongs add jars to the canning rack then submerge canning rack into the pot.

  10. Check and make sure there is at least 2 inches of water over the tops of the jars and that the water is at a full rolling boil. 

  11. Put lid on and process jars for 10 minutes.

  12. When your timer is up remove lid and using jar lifter take jars out of the canner and place them onto the dish towel to cool overnight. 

  13. Next day check to make sure that the lids are sealed. Date jars and store in a cool dry place. If you have any lids that don't seal place in fridge for immediate use.

Quick Fridge Pickle Recipe:

  1. Wash your jars, lids and rings in hot soapy water by hand. Place lids and rings on a dish towel on your counter or table.

  2. Add water, sugar, lemon juice, lavender and vanilla to a pot and bring to a boil.

  3. Allow sugar to fully dissolve stirring frequently then remove from heat and allow to sit.

  4. Add hulled strawberries to jars. *for the fridge pickle version of this recipe 1 lb of hulled strawberries makes 2 pint size jars. 

  5. Place the canning funnel on your first jar and ladle in syrup leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.

  6. With a damp cloth or paper towel wipe the rim of each jar.

  7. Add lids and rings to each jar, closing each finger tight. You don't have to crank it down hard, just snug.

  8. Allow to cool over night on the counter. 

  9. Refrigerate next day. They can be eaten next day, but allow to cure for 2-4 weeks for maximum spice diffusion. 


If you've had a chance to use our preserves in a dish or want to share a canning recipe with us use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Market's + Events page or Shop Online! Cheers!

PB+J Sandwiches 3 Ways with Strawberry Bourbon Jam

unspecified.jpg

We came across this Bon Appetit article this week about different ways to make the best PB+J sandwiches according to chefs across the country. We spotted a lot of strawberry jam in these sandwich ideas, and with the launch of our Strawberry Bourbon jam this weekend, we HAD to test a few out. Get your Strawberry Bourbon jam, fav PB, bread and a few extras and get ready for the tastiest PB+Js around!


PB+J #1

Our first PB+J idea comes from Chef Peter Lemon of Wax Paper in LA.

Take potato bread and layer with creamy peanut butter, Strawberry Bourbon jam, fresh peanuts, and freshly cut strawberries. For easiest sandwich eating, cut in a diagonal!


unspecified-4.jpg

PB+J #2

Our second PB+J idea comes from Chef John Bates of Noble Sandwich Co in Austin, TX.

Toast brioche bread in a cast iron skillet with both sides layered with crunchy peanut butter and Strawberry Bourbon jam. For easiest sandwich eating, cut in a diagonal!


unspecified-3.jpg

PB+J #3

Our last PB+J idea comes from Chef Casey Rebecca Nunes of Media Noche in San Fransisco.

First mix some sambal (buy it here) with creamy peanut butter. Then fry up some bacon and layer your bread with spicy peanut butter, Strawberry Bourbon jam, and bacon. Add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and fry sandwich on both sides.


We wanna know! Which sandwich are you going to try with your Strawberry Bourbon jam? Show us your PB+Js!

If you've had a chance to use our preserves in a dish or want to share a canning recipe with us use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Market's + Events page or Shop Online! Cheers!