Skip to main content
Toggle Nav
Cart() cart() cart(US $ 0.00)

Q&A with Gourmet Food Maker Suzanne's Sweet Savories

LightningQuoteTM

Get Your FREE Quote Instantly!
Get Started

Q&A with Gourmet Food Maker Suzanne's Sweet Savories

This month’s Customer Spotlight is on Suzanne's Sweet Savories, a specialty food company that makes all-natural, gourmet dips.  Lightning Labels conducted the following interview with Suzanne Calhoun, the company's founding owner, product maker, chief dishwasher, and CEO. [caption id="attachment_4176" align="alignleft" width="174" caption="Suzanne Calhoun, Owner/Founder of Suzanne's Sweet Savories"]Suzanne Calhoun, Owner/Founder of Suzanne's Sweet Savories, is pictured here.[/caption] LIGHTNING LABELS: What products and services does your company offer? Suzanne: We make gourmet savory dips: a fruit base with a bit of spice and a bunch of zing to jazz up lunch and dinner dishes, from grilled meats and fish to artisan cheese and crackers, from stews to sweet potato fries, omelets to crostini. Our current flavors are Apple, Blueberry, Tomato, and Rhubarb. The apple, for instance, is great with pork chops or ribs, the tomato with roasted potatoes, and the blueberry makes a great baked brie or is fantastic with Mexican food. We will be introducing new flavors as we go along, perhaps into the vegetable realm as well as expanding into new products of similar flavoring: spreads for sandwiches and dressings for salads or pastas. The marketplace for gourmet foods is quite competitive these days. What makes your products or product labels stand out? What is unique about them that keeps customers coming back for more? My products are unlike anything else on the market, in that they are mostly just a fruit or veggie, but are savory, adding a burst of flavor to many different dishes. My dips are quite versatile; the possibilities for uses are endless, and you can personalize the taste combinations to fit exactly what you like. I always love to hear what dishes and new combinations my customers have created. People who don't consider themselves cooks also love them because my products turn the ordinary into gourmet! How did your business get started? I was trying to come up with a dip for sweet potatoes, because ketchup doesn't work, so I set to work experimenting in my kitchen. Then I tried using my dips on many other dishes, adding wonderful fruit flavors and making eating healthily more exciting. My business got started after my friends tasted the dips and wanted to know where to get some of their own! What inspires you? The fresh, pure flavors of fruit and vegetables, especially amazing when lovingly grown in your own garden or by your neighborly farmer, inspire me to create ways to enjoy these tastes year round, and share them to put a smile on others' faces. Knowing where my food comes from and how it was grown is important to me, so I eat ( and buy) locally whenever I can; this supports the local economy, keeping money nearby. All natural and organic food are also important, helping keep ourselves and our planet healthier. I have translated both of these beliefs over into my company as well, sourcing ingredients from local farmers and using all natural unprocessed ingredients and sustainably made supplies. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="235" caption="All products made by Suzanne's Sweet Savories are made from locally sourced, organic ingredients."]Gourmet, organic dip made by Suzanne's Sweet Savories[/caption] Would you like to tell us a little bit about how your business operates? My family has been very supportive, for I which am very grateful. They have been my taste testers, and volunteered to man booths at farmers markets because I haven't figured out how to be in two places at once. My mother in particular has been helping with nearly every aspect of the business, from production days, to developing a vision for the company, and generating lots of important ideas in between. I value the relationships I have with local farmers who provide me with supplies of produce to make my products. I produce at the Vermont Food Venture Center in Hardwick, Vt, a certified shared-use kitchen and small food business incubator. Where can our readers learn more about Suzanne’s Sweet Savories and sample your dips, spreads, and dressings? Take a look at my website, www.SuzannesSweetSavories.com I have a blog there, as well as more information about the company and our products. Find us at farmers' markets or in stores to sample our products Where are your products sold? We are selling at several farmers' markets in Vermont this summer, spread across the central and northern parts of the state, to get out and meet customers to get feedback. My products are featured in Vermont's Own Products in Middlebury, Vermont, and the Middlebury College Bookstore. Customers can also order online on our website, www.SuzannesSweetSavories.com. I am currently working with several natural foods co-ops and country stores to include my products in their offerings, and I would love to hear any suggestions of stores! Do you offer samples? I always like to offer samples, because my products are hard to describe with just words. The best way to understand what this company is about is to let your tastebuds experience our products. I've been asking customers for help in coming up a great way to describe them, but most of the time the reaction is "Wow" or "Mmmm." The ultimate way to experience our products is to take them home to your kitchen and try them on your favorite dishes: Experiment and have fun! On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you enjoy your job? My job at this point is so many jobs all at the same time, that it's hard to answer that question, as I like some of them more than others, but all are important for the business. How did you hear about Lightning Labels? I heard about Lightning Labels through the Vermont Food Venture Center as well as Internet searches, and I liked the fact that you can do digital printings. Is there anything else you wish to share with our readers? I have been very fortunate in all the opportunities that have been available to me throughout my life. Once Suzanne's Sweet Savories is off the ground, I am hoping to establish a fund, based on the model of 1% for the Planet but now 1% for Females, through which I can give back some of the company's profits to support similar opportunities for others. [caption id="attachment_4177" align="alignleft" width="402" caption="Suzanne's Sweet Savories trusts Lightning Labels to print full-color labels for their product jars"]Jars of gourmet food products featuring labels printed by Lightning Labels[/caption] I am particularly grateful for the educational opportunities I received as I was growing up, so one part of the goal of the foundation is to support the education of girls worldwide. As I have started this business, I have met so many people you have been very supportive of my venture and offered advice, which has helped greatly; thus the other portion of the foundation will bolster women entrepreneurs the world over, through micro-finanace and other mechanisms. I believe that educating and fortifying the women of the world will help increase quality of life, health, and peace around the world, even in a small way.