Thursday, March 9, 2017

West Virginia Fruit and Berry

WV fruit & berry
Since 1995, West Virginia Fruit and Berry, an All Natural Food and Beverage Company located in Bridgeport, WV, has offered Preserves, Jams, Jellies and Fruit Butters made with a taste reminiscent of the way our Grandma would have made. While growing up in the hills of West Virginia, we picked berries and fruits our parents and grandparents had growing in their back yards, or wild in the hills around us. After that labor of love, Mom or Grandma would can and preserve or bake up our harvest in tasty treats. 
Our company brings back the memories of a time gone by. Enjoy a taste of Almost Heaven Black Raspberry Seedless Preserves, our Mountain Blackberry, or a taste of our delightful Apple Butter to name a few, on hot bread, a hot biscuit, toast or bagel. They’re delicious in recipes, too. 
In 2014, we made the decision to celebrate the Pride and Tradition of WV with a new line of our delicious Fruit Wines made from the same Fruits and Berries indigenous to growth in the beautiful state that Bob and Becky Titchenal call home.
WV fruit & berryYou've probably seen West Virginia Fruit and Berry preserves products. They're in grocery stores; they're in shops that sell West Virginia products; and they're even in the wine aisle.

WV fruit & berryYou can get preserves: "Almost Heaven" black raspberry preserves, "Mountain" blackberry preserves, "Wild & Wonderful" red raspberry preserves, blueberry preserves, cherry preserves, plum preserves, elderberry preserves, strawberry jam, and strawberry rhubarb. Also pepper jams: cherry jalapeno pepper, jalapeno pepper jam, and strawberry jalapeno jam. Fruit butters include apple butter, cherry butter, pumpkin butter, and peach butter.

WV fruit & berryYou can even get Mountain Blackberry Wine, Uncle Jake's Elderberry Wine, and Wild & Wonderful Raspberry Wine.

WV fruit & berryWest Virginia Fruit and Berry is not a winery, however. A little more on how they got started:
Bob and Becky Titchenal, both native West Virginians, formed West Virginia Fruit and Berry in early 1995. We started growing berries in the Sun Valley area of Clarksburg, WV and then moved, in 1998, to a new farm location in Bridgeport, WV. It was our intent in the beginning to grow berries for West Virginia wineries, and then expand our ideas to introduce our own line of “Value Added” products. 
The more we researched the potential of quality West Virginia food products for the specialty food market, the more we were excited by the potential of expanding WV agricultural production for the average family farmer. 
We started marketing our WV Fruit and Berry products and continued to preach alternative sustainable agriculture for small family farms. This offers small family farms the potential of growing specialty crops such as fruits, berries, herbs, flowers and whatever the niche markets would demand, thus giving the farmers a chance for additional income from either selling what they grow or creating their own value added products. There is a need for small fruit growers in our state. We can help create a market for the fruits they grow. There is no doubt that we are finding a market for WV grown products, not only in this state, but in neighboring states as well. 
Through mail order, our products have even found their way to the homes of people in Europe, the Far East and Asia. People of West Virginia are proud to share a piece of West Virginia through gifts to their friends all over the world. West Virginians, who are living all over the world, also crave a taste of the heritage of West Virginia.

In September of 2015, Bob and Becky announced that the company would celebrate their 20th Anniversary of marketing value added products for the state of West Virginia by adding a new line of fruit wines. Named and flavored from the same fruits and berries in our mouth-watering preserves, jams, jellies and fruit butters, we introduced four West Virginia Fruit and Berry fruit wines, which include Mountain Blackberry, Wild & Wonderful Raspberry/Luscious Cherry Blossom and Uncle Jake’s Elderberry Wine.
WV fruit & berrySo, they essentially create the taste profiles of what the preserves should taste like and what the wines should taste like - influenced by West Virginia flavors. And, the products are made outside the state with another company. Farmhouse wineries may not be so thrilled with the concept, but this is modern-day marketing, which I have an appreciation for. I think they're using flavors inspired by their childhood, and they're getting the West Virginia name out there. That's pretty great.

This couple was kind enough to open up and show me around and teach me a little bit about what they're doing. It's not a common concept here in West Virginia, but it is smart. I think the products are absolutely delicious, and I look forward to seeing what else they churn out.