Melissa and Laura Vitelli
Started by two sisters who grew up in Italian restaurant kitchens, Melissa and Laura started Jar Goods with the mission to offer delicious, simple specialty foods in jars - ready to use in any home pantry. Using their grandpa's recipe, Melissa and Laura are sharing their family secret with the world.
What Inspired You To Start Your Company?
The desire to create shelf stable pantry items that are both simply prepared and delicious. Items to stock in your pantry and be ready in a pinch to create delicious dishes.
Tell us about your products.
Classic Red was our first sauce, introduced in 2013. The recipe originated in the kitchen of Jules Italian Restaurant in Jersey City over fifty years ago by our dad, John Vitelli. Its a simple, delicious red sauce made with only vine ripened tomatoes, sweet onions, garlic and 100% pure imported Olive Oil. From that we launched Classic Spicy, subtle with just the right amount of spice mix and Classic Vodka, indulgent and smooth but never too heavy.
What Does Being A Small-Batch “Artisan” Mean To You?
It means taking pride in every step of the production process. From the conduit to hold your item to the preparation to meeting new happy customers.
What Drew You To Food?
I grew up in a family that owned Italian restaurants. My mother cooked every night of the week. My parents exposed us to all kinds of foods.
Where Does Your Food Inspiration Come From?
My great grandmother Julia. She was truly the MacGyver of cooking. And the desire to provide my young daughter with new and interesting foods choices as often as I can.
What Products Are You Working On Now?
WE are currently doing R&D to create new flavors within the Classic line.
Do You Have a Favorite Product?
Classic Red, our original flavor.
Latest Ingredient Obsession?
I try not to get fixated on one ingredient. I have been adding carmelized onions to almost all my recipes of late.
What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?
Grilled Mahi Mahi fish tacos. I can’t eat Classic Red every night!
What Person, Living Or Dead, Would You Most Like To Have Try Your Product?
My great grandmother. She passed before we launched Jar Goods. She was such a strong and loving woman.
What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Gotten In Building Your Business? What Advice Would You Give Other artisans?
Never give up. If you truly believe in your product and have a passion for it, it will show in everything you do.
If You Had To Choose Your Last Meal, What Would It Be?
Hmmm..that’s a tough one. I can eat good pizza almost any night of the week. But nothing beats a New England style cold lobster roll!
Favorite Restaurant or Food Experience?
Favorite Restaurant experience is Felidia in NYC. Always consistently good. Favorite experience is the meals served at the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle. Went on my honeymoon and every meal was a true dining experience.
What Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of the Kitchen?
Traveling, spending time with my daughter and husband, staying active.
What’s Your Favorite Kitchen Soundtrack?
My daughter buzzing about in the background while I make dinner.