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Two of Sacramento’s most innovative bartenders have launched a new business devoted to an old-fashioned craft: preserving food.
Brad Peters and Jason Poole founded Preservation & Co. in 2011, making jams and bottling pickles in small batches during their time off from mixing craft cocktails. After raising more than $10,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, they’re opening a production facility and retail store in midtown this spring that will allow them to meet a growing demand for their handcrafted foods.
From the beginning, Preservation has been about taking the owners’ behind-the-bar knowledge in new directions. Calling themselves “jartenders,” the owners turned to popular cocktails as the muse for their Bar in a Jar lineup of jams, jellies and preserves. Think mojito jelly and screwdriver marmalade.
Preservation’s Bloody Mary mix—a concoction of pickling brine, Dijon mustard, balsamic reduction, horseradish, tomato juice and crushed capers, among other ingredients—won second place in a national contest sponsored by Absolut vodka in 2012. Poole says they plan to add cocktail bitters and syrups to their product line in the coming months.
On the savory side, Preservation bottles fresh produce along with herbs, spices and brines in bold flavor combinations such as horseradish green beans, black pepper asparagus, habanero pickles, balsamic beets and cayenne carrot sticks. “We try and source through as many local places as possible,” says Poole.
The owners’ aim is to sell their products at retail stores regionally and to see the local food movement flourish in the capital city. “We are really trying to create a specialty food scene here in Sacramento,” explains Poole. The support they received through Kickstarter and from local customers, he says, “shows that people really do want to have these types of products in the area.