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!
The Ladies of Urban Canning