Pantry Perfection 9

The Secret to Great Tasting Meals 
is All in the Jar

The beauty of jars lies in their simplicity. For starters, they look gorgeous stacked on shelves or used as a decoration. However, the real value of each jar is measured by what lies inside, and Arizona residents have been churning out high-quality products that locals have fallen in love with over and over again. From hot pepper jelly to tomato sauce, discover just how much goodness there is in these small-batch, artisanal jars, all of which can be found at local Scottsdale venues.

 Carol’s Delectables

Sure, Carol’s Delectables offers sweeter, more traditional jams like peach and plum, but the company also churns out a variety of spicy only-in Arizona pepper jellies like Habanero and Serrano. Most of the fruit used in their products is plucked fresh from the more than 300 fruit trees on the couple’s 60-acre ranch in Snowflake, Arizona. Find it online at

Prickly Pear Tea from Passport Coffee & Tea

Since 1983, the Brecheisen family has been blending full leaf teas. Everything is made by hand, even the tea leaves are steamed there, making their teas low in both caffeine and calories. One of Passport’s standout options is the decidedly local prickly pear tea, which includes a base of China black tea that’s infused with rosehips and prickly pear.

Mama’s Cold Brew

Phoenix resident and busy mother of four, Jennifer Rzepecki, was always searching for high-quality coffee that would keep her up throughout the day. Unable to find one, she started making her own and sold it at the Scottsdale Bible Church. The coffee was a hit, and in March, 2014 Mama’s Cold Brew was born. Today, her signature organic iced coffee, which is made with a secret spice blend, is brewed in a commercial kitchen in downtown Phoenix. For more information, please visit

Chateau Tumbleweed Wild Will E. Cox Wine

After more than 30 combined years working at Arizona wineries, four friends decided to take a big risk and open their very own Chateau Tumbleweed in Clarkdale, Arizona.  The winery’s Wild Will E. Cox blend pays homage to Wilcox, the region of Arizona where most of the state’s grapes are produced. This red vino is a Grenache-based blend containing 60 percent Grenache, 20 percent Syrah and 20 percent Tempranillo varietals—all sourced from Arizona vineyards. Find it online at

“The Dude Jar” from 
Tracy Dempsey Originals

Served at Citizen Public House, “The Dude Jar” draws inspiration from the film The Big Lebowski’s signature drink, The White Russian. This decadent dessert features layers of chocolate cookie crumble, coffee pot de crème and Kahlúa crèma, and is served with white chocolate chip hemp seed cookies. All of Dempsey’s products are made from scratch in a commercial kitchen in Tempe. For more information, visit

Queen Creek Olive Mill

A 1997 trip out to Arizona inspired Michigan couple Perry and Brenda Rea to leave their home and start making extra virgin olive oil in Queen Creek. Their pesticide- and herbicide-free, sustainable farm is home to more than 7,000 olive trees, and nearly two decades later, the business is still thriving. As Arizona’s only commercial olive oil maker, Queen Creek Olive Mill has flourished, selling EVOO, vinegars, tapenades, stuffed olives and even home and body products. Find it online at

Arizona Honey Market

In 2008, Mark Fratu was given a beehive filled with Africanized killer bees. Most would see this as an omen, but it turned out to be a gift. After the market collapsed, the former investor passed by a farmer’s market and decided that he would start selling honey, thus Arizona Honey Market was born. All Fratu’s products are sugar-free and produced out of his home in Scottsdale. He sells eight different flavors, with the most popular being Desert Flower. Find it online at

Peanut Butter Americano

Jeff Malkoon started Peanut Butter Americano out of his mom’s kitchen in 2013. Now, his products are found in more than 30 retail locations throughout Arizona, although all are made in Glendale. The best seller?  Cinnamon Honey Peanut Butter sweetened with Sonoran wildflower honey, which he describes as an “Arizona twist on peanut butter.” Part of his sales proceeds also go towards relief work in Uruguay. Find it online at

 Homeboy’s Hot Sauce

Homeboy’s is dedicated to simple, high-quality products. You can see it in the design of the jars—each clear bottle only features the logo and a single pepper. There are two regular flavors: the best-selling haberno and the jalapeno. Ingredients are fresh and locally sourced, whenever possible. Find it online at

Mamma Letizia’s

Customers have told Letizia Lavant that her Mamma Letizia’s small-batch sauce recipes always remind them of home. She makes two authentic flavors: Thick, Rich and Garlicky Pizzaiole Gravy and Spicy Italian Marinara Gravy. In typical Italian fashion, the recipes have been passed down from generation to generation—from Lavant’s mother’s recipes, which she got from her mother. Find it online at