the gardenaire story
Since 1981, we've been preserving the seasonal bounty from our garden in our Rochester, Minnesota kitchen. At Gardenaire, we handcraft organic products in small batches showcasing the unique flavors of exceptional fruits and herbs in every bottle, tin and jar. Gardenaire was created to discover, tend, harvest and preserve local flavors so you can enjoy them in your home year round.
How It All Began
Hello! I'm Amy Lorber, the founder and creator of Gardenaire. Gardenaire was born from memories and dreams. For me, it was the memories of childhood summers in Minnesota spent helping pick apples, tomatoes, and strawberries and countless hours at the elbow of my mom learning the art of making delicious sauces and jams. The endless rows of canning jars always sparked a sense of wonder and pride in the seasonal treasures that would lie in wait until one snowy winter day when a jar of ruby red, strawberry jam would emerge to brighten a piece of morning toast.
Over the years, my love for gardening and preserving continued to grow and I began to dream of turning my summer hobby and legions of potted herbs and test batches into something I could share. While working in Nashville, I found that the margins of my notebooks were crammed with recipe ideas for jams, marmalades and cocktails and realized that something had to be done. In 2011, my sister and I started a jam company using local, organic fruits and top shelf liquors in cocktail-themed preserves. We were thrilled when our efforts garnered awards for our preserves in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from the Good Food Awards which grants awards for tasty, authentic and responsibly produced products.
After 14 years in Nashville, I knew that while I loved Nashville and its burgeoning artisan food scene, it wasn't my home. I sold my house, loaded a moving van, filled my car with my most prized possessions (my two dogs, favorite pots and pans, prized herb plants, a cactus called "Fraggle") and hit the road. I moved back to Rochester to be close to my parents and to become a part of the growing movement toward local, organic, traceable and sustainable food in my beloved hometown.
Our garden is grown using sustainable methods that protect the environment and public health. We believe that it is important to be good stewards of the land and water in our community and do not use artificial or synthetic pesticides, insecticides or fertilizers. We are constantly working to improve the organic methods we employ and in addition to composting and plant rotation, we have harnessed pollinator power by adding honeybee hives to our garden. This year, Gardenaire grew over 50 varieties of herbs, 30 varieties of pollinator-friendly flowers and 35 varieties of fruits and vegetables - numbers that continue to grow with the arrival of each Seed Savers or Baker Creek heirloom seed catalog!
Gardenaire is owned and operated by Amy Lorber and her mom Linda Lorber, with the help of Walt Lorber. Family is at the heart of everything we do at Gardenaire and we are proud of our small, sustainable, hand crafted business. Each of us believes in our mission to create delicious products using sustainable growing practices and authentic preservation techniques and we all work very hard to realize our dream of harvesting and sharing local flavors, connecting with our community and supporting our environment (and if we get to enjoy our wares in a cocktail or three along the way, that's okay too)!