The artisanal food movement was just over the horizon when Justin Rashid became a wild food forager in the late 1970s. After working as actors in the Big Apple for a number of years, the native Detroiter and his wife Kate Marshall had relocated to northern Michigan, where he began gathering morel mushrooms, wild greens, nuts, berries and other edible treasures that he shipped to New York chef Larry Forgione.

In 1982, Rashid and Forgione teamed up to launch American Spoon Foods in Petoskey, using minimally processed, local ingredients to create small batches of jams, preserves and butters. “We wanted to get people closer to the sources of the foods, to help them connect the food with its source in nature,” Rashid explains. “We evolved as a celebration of place—a celebration of northern Michigan. We wanted to duplicate, in a convenient form, the canned fruit your grandmother used to keep in the cellar.”

Thirty-five years later, American Spoon is still a hands-on operation, where cooks at copper kettles transform locally sourced, premium ingredients into small batches of goodness in jars. In addition to the original Petoskey store, which has an adjacent cafe, there are American Spoon shops in four other resort towns along the Lake Michigan shore.

This article originally appeared in the 2017 fall/winter issue of Experience Michigan magazine. The contents of this article were checked for accuracy when it was published; however, it’s possible some of the information has changed. We recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the destinations, attractions or restaurants mentioned in this article.

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