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The Trade

Michael Fraley

Michael Fraely | Green Jam Man

After searching high and low for currant jam in his local markets, Michael took matters into his own hand, crafting his first jam.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

Noticing the distinct, natural flavors of that first jam, compared to the overly sweetened products normally found in grocery stores, Michael set out to create his own line of seasonal jams, produced with locally sourced fruit from Vermont and the North East area.

Michael + Green Jam Man won a Good Food Award for his preserves in 2015


What Inspired You To Start Your Company?

My love for Black Currant Jam.


Tell us about your products.

I create interesting flavor combinations using different fruits, herbs, spices, and liquor to create different jams, jellies and marmalade while using local ingredients. 


What Does Being A Small-Batch “Craftsman” Mean To You?

It means doing everything by hand, the old fashion way. It’s about knowing where your ingredients come from and who grows. I have close relationship with all the farms I work with.


What is your favorite small-batch treat?

Black Currant Jam of course. I eat it over cheese, on yogurt, and just on toast.


What Drew You To Food?

I have always loved eating! For several years I was curious about preserving different kinds of foods. I tried my hand at pickling but it was not my thing. I preferred making jam.


Where Does Your Food Inspiration Come From?

This is a question I get asked all the time. I let the fruit inspire me. Often I wait to see what fruit is available from week to week. Once it comes in, I taste it and decided what flavor would be best suited for the fruit.


What Products Are You Working On Now?

Right now is what I call my break in the year. Citrus season is just finishing up and now I am waiting for June when rhubarb will come available here in Vermont. 


Do You Have a Favorite Product?

Black Currant Jam….are we seeing a trend?


Latest Ingredient Obsession?

Outside of Black Currants? Ha I would have to say figs. Living in Vermont we are not able to grow them. It’s too cold. But I love them!


What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?

I had gluten free pizza with Italian sausage and mushrooms.


What Person, Living Or Dead, Would You Most Like To Have Try Your Product?

I am always amazed by where my product goes and who has already tried it. I don’t think there is anyone. All the people I want to try it has. I am just flattered whenever there is someone who wants to try it.


What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Gotten In Building Your Business?

What Advice Would You Give Other craftsmen? Take every opportunity that you are given. I was given this piece of advice a couple months ago and it has really changed my outlook on my business. It I can make something work, I am going too. I would give the same advice to other craftsmen’s.


What Other Local Food Craftsmen or Chefs Do You Admire?

I admire anyone else that is in the Jam business. Each of us are all so different and we make jams in different ways.


If You Had To Choose Your Last Meal, What Would It Be?

Tacos! I love a good taco.


Favorite Restaurant or Food Experience?

My favorite restaurant is Pizzeria Verita here in Burlington, VT. They make a great gluten free pizza and most of their cheese is made in house.


What Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of the Kitchen?

I enjoy a lot of physical exercise whether it is running, lifting or yoga.


What’s Your Favorite Kitchen Soundtrack?

Its always changing. I really need something I can sing along to or dance to. Lately it has been Fitz and the Tantrum or St Vincent.

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