Since 2010, Beau Bien Fine Foods has been producing world-class preserves and condiments with Michigan’s finest fruit. Using classic foundations and principles of preservation, we have created our recipes to combine flavors that we find exciting and relevant to the modern palate and pantry.
We work directly with regional farmers to choose the highest quality fruit available. We craft each flavor in small batches, taking time and care to make sure every jar meets the highest standards of quality.
Our company calls Detroit home, where we are part of a vibrant group of fellow food entrepreneurs dedicated to fostering a community of cooperation and collective growth. We couldn’t ask for a better place to build a business.
In 2010, owner and founder Noelle Lothamer was a musician and food writer working an office job during the day. Raised in Michigan and having lived in Detroit since 1998, she was already savoring the quietly growing local food scene. Exceptional, locally sourced food was coming to the forefront, and grassroots food scenes were invigorating urban centers around the country. She and her friends knew Detroit deserved to be a part of this trend. The economy uncertain, her employment uninspiring, she longed to build something reflecting her tastes and values, and hungry to translate her love of food into tangible products. She already knew what she liked: luscious fruit, limited sugar, and ingredients of highest quality – preserves that would complement sweet and savory foods alike.
Having lived in France and traveled extensively, Noelle acquired an affinity for seasonal, fresh food, born of tradition and simplicity. After Michigan passed the Cottage Food law, allowing the sale of foods produced in home kitchens, she teamed up with a friend and began developing recipes for the jams, chutneys and mustards that would become Beau Bien’s flagship line. Through trial and error, she retained only the recipes that fully captured the succulent flavor of seasonal fruit.
“My connection with home-grown food and farmer’s markets is lifelong; my grandfather was a farmer, and I used to be his helper at the markets when I was a kid. In middle and high school, I studied French, and became curious about cooking so I could attempt to make some of the foods we were learning about in class. A few years later, armed with my French degree from Michigan State, I spent a year teaching in Toulouse, France, where my love of cooking blossomed.
After returning from Toulouse, I spent a decade playing in various Detroit rock bands before “retiring” and shifting my creative energies towards food writing and cooking. In many ways, the artisan food movement has several parallels with the music scene in its vibrance, creativity, and tight-knit community, so I feel right at home!
As I often prefer savory to sweet foods, it was important for me to create products that pair well with foods I love. I wanted Beau Bien to appear not just on breakfast tables, but also alongside cheeses, cured meats, on sandwiches and in creative home cooking.
For me, locating in Detroit post-college was a wise move. I discovered how easily exceptional ingredients can be found here; in fact, Michigan is one of the nation’s largest producers of berries and tree fruits. I also loved the idea of using local ingredients to help transform Michigan’s once-faltering economy. I’m committed to supporting our city and our farming partners, and I know that Beau Bien’s success can help accomplish both.”
Beau Bien Fine Foods can now be found at better grocers, boutiques, cafés and wine shops throughout the state. We’ve enjoyed delighting palates, and are happy to welcome our many returning customers and meet new faces at our Eastern Market tasting room. We’re proud of our work and we look forward to adding our beautifully well-made recipes to your table.
Where is your store?
We are pleased to announce the opening of our tasting room and café in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market! We are thrilled to have a retail presence in the very place we’ve been purchasing Michigan produce since our company’s early days. Please visit us next time you are in Detroit. Check out our Retailers page for our hours and address.
How do you come up with your recipes?
We love to cook and we love to improvise and play with flavors. Using classic foundations and principles of preserving, we have created our recipes to combine flavors that we find exciting and relevant to the modern palate and pantry.
Where does your name come from? Are you located on Beaubien Street?
When we chose our company name, we wanted locals to recognize us as a Detroit brand, without having to call ourselves something generic like “Detroit Preserves Company”. Because of Noelle’s French background and its influence on our products, we adapted a well-known French street name in Detroit. The literal French meaning of the words– “beau” is beautiful and “bien” is well– are echoed in our brand’s tag line, “Beautifully well-made preserves & condiments”.
You say you use less sugar but it still tastes sweet. Do you make any sugar-free products?
Our recipe uses about half the sugar of conventional jam recipes, so you will still taste the sugar; however, if you were to sample our products next to your typical grocery store jam, the difference becomes very apparent! We pride ourselves on the concentrated, bright fruit flavor we achieve through using double the amount of fruit to the sugar. For those watching their sugar intake for health reasons, we do post nutritional info on our labels. We have opted not to make sugar free products because we don’t want to use any artificial sweeteners or preservatives.
Where do you source your fruit?
Our fruit is sourced as close to home as possible. We work with many farms in the greater Detroit area (and even in the city itself), as well as farms on the west side of the state, where most of the blueberries and cherries are grown. Occasionally, Mother Nature requires us to source some items out of state; in those cases, we still try to stay within the midwestern food shed.
Where are your other ingredients sourced?
The majority of our other ingredients such as herbs, spices, honey and wine are sourced locally from Michigan vendors; additionally, all of our spices and mustard seed are certified non-irradiated.
Although we are all about local, for the time being we have chosen to use cane sugar rather than Michigan beet sugar, because all Michigan sugar is currently made with genetically modified “Round-Up Ready” beets. We’re jam makers, not scientists, but until we have more information we’d rather just avoid genetically modified foods.
Why don’t you have fig jam / mango chutney / marmalades?
Because there is such a bounty of great fruit here in Michigan, we have opted to use only fruit that grows locally. So, you won’t see mango chutneys or pineapple jams in our repertoire. But we encourage you to try something new… if you like figs, why not branch out and try a plum preserve? Or a peach chutney instead of mango? You might just discover a new favorite flavor.
Can you create custom flavors and/or packaging for a corporate event or wedding?
Absolutely, thanks for asking! Please visit our custom orders page for more information.
Do you offer seasonal preserves?
Occasionally we do create special flavors that are only available in our shop or on our website; please visit our online store to see what we currently have available.