Mindful Mavens Giveaway: Michael’s Dolce Jams

This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Jess B Wright who was our winner!

 

I first met Michael at the Brewer Park farmer’s market in Ottawa. Since taste-testing a few of his hand-crafted jams, I’ve been loving them and sharing them with friends and family constantly. Seeing as he uses fresh local produce, certified organic cane sugar, and his packaging is made with either recycled or recyclable materials, his products are a great fit for the Mindful Mavens. I wanted to share Michael’s story with you and what makes his jams so special, so did a little Q&A with him. One lucky winner will get to try these as well! (See giveaway below)

How did your business start?

Michael’s Dolce started with the passion to improve the quality of jams.  I am trained in culinary arts, with several years experience working in the ‘sweet side’ (desserts) at restaurants and bakeries.

What is the story behind the name?

The name ‘Michael’s Dolce’ is derived from my name (Michael) and Dolce is an Italian word for sweet.  I choose Dolce, because the last restaurant I worked in had the dessert menu titled “Dolce”.

What sort of criteria do you have for selecting ingredients?

I look for locally grown / sourced foods.  I purchase the majority of fruit from Ontario, B.C.,and N.S.  I particularly buy from farmers at the Ottawa farmers market, Acorn creek, Warners farm, and Luxy farms.  I only use freshly squeezed lemon juice in all my jams.  In my strawberry balsamic jam, I use an 18 year old balsamic from The unrefined olive.  A new addition to my line is Smokey BBQ sauce, which is vegan and gluten free (facility is not GF).  I purchase spanish smoked paprika from Cardamom & Cloves, to support another small local business.

How do you choose flavour combinations?

Once I decide the fruit or basic ingredient, I research ways the ingredient has been used.  This leads me to a pairing flavour(s) and from there I formulate a recipe.

photo 3

 

Did you target your products to be specifically ethical/vegan?

Not on purpose, from the start I knew I would only make a quality product.  Selling at farmers market gave me direct connection to my costumers, understanding what people are looking for.  Striving to make ethical/vegan products make sense to the majority of my clientele, and me.

What makes them different than any other jams?

1) less sugar/no pectin

2) unique flavour combinations

3) soft set textures

Which flavor is your personal favorite and best seller?

My favorite is strawberry balsamic, the best seller is hands down Blueberry & Lavender.

photo 4

 

 

What do you do when you are not in the kitchen?

Family and friends are a key part of my spare time!  Spending valuable time eating out, keeping up with my interest in photography..to name a few.

Any exciting developments happening for the future?

This year I have started making  a vegan Sriracha sauce.

Jams in cocktails started on the drink menu at Union613.  You can find 3 of them with my jams/sriracha.

photo 2

 

I am collaborating with Marissa Begin (a beer rep & mixologist) to devise drinks with my jams.  She has even got ideas for which beer/drink to add my sriracha and BBQ sauce to!

I have just launched a smokey BBQ sauce which has already been well received.  Fiazza Pizza on Murray St. had approached me to make a BBQ sauce for one of their pizza’s. I was honoured to be asked, and have also been bottling them for sale too!

photo 5

 

 

 

So here’s what’s up for grabs:

One winner will receive four (4) 190ml jars of Michaelsdolce jams and sauces. The flavors will be:

  • Apricot Chili jam
  • Yellow Plum Anise jam
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Smokey BBQ sauce

To enter the giveaway, please respond with a comment that answers one of the following:

  • If you’ve tried Michaelsdolce jams and sauces, what’s your favourite flavour, and why?
  • If you haven’t, which flavour are you most interested to try?

Winners will be chosen randomly by number draw.

Details: Giveaway is open to Canadian residents, excluding Quebec. One random winner will win a set of 4 Michaelsdolce products. Pick-up to be arranged with Michael Sunderland. Giveaway closes on Saturday, September 13 at 11:59 PM EST.  One entry per person. The Mindful Mavens are not responsible for the delivery of the prize and cannot be held accountable for any discrepancies.

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30 thoughts on “Mindful Mavens Giveaway: Michael’s Dolce Jams

  1. Nathalie says:

    Never tried his products but they all sound delish! How to pick just one?! Blueberries are my favourite fruit so I’d probably try the blueberry lavender jam – sounds so decadent.

    Like

  2. Kathryn says:

    I haven’t tried any of them YET, and I’m interested in trying all of them, but the vegan Smokey BBQ sauce sounds particularly awesome!

    Like

  3. KellyC says:

    I haven’t tried any but I would love to try the smokey BBQ sauce! The yellow plum anise one is a close second. Thanks for the chance to win such interesting products!

    Like

  4. Kayla Seguin says:

    Wow! These all look absolutely amazing! The flavour combinations sound so unique. I’m interested in trying all of them, but in particular I’d love to get my hands on that Vegan Sriracha Sauce! The Plum Anise sounds super delicious too. Thank you for the give-away.

    Like

  5. Mihaela says:

    I was looking for nice gifts for my friends, so I stumbled upon your site.
    Haven’t got a chance to try any of these, but I definitely have to now!
    The ones I’ll start with will be the spiced cherry and the blueberry lavender!

    Like

  6. ohmandieee says:

    Mine is definitely the blueberry lavender! I actually dont much like lavender but I met Michael at urban craft a couple of months ago and he looked right at me and said “you’re going to like THIS one”. Surprising he was right 🙂

    Like

  7. Veronique Daoust says:

    I’ve been a fan of Michael’s jams and preserves for years! My absolute favorite is the spicy cherry preserve. It is amazing on ice cream!!

    Like

  8. Jess B Wright says:

    I have to admit, I have yet to try them! I would LOVE to try the Sriracha Sauce! Mmm, I love a spicy flavour and I keep drooling over it on the Instagram account. My second choice would be the rhubarb and black pepper. That one’s been on my radar for A LONG TIME.

    Like

  9. Erin Crowell says:

    The Rhubarb Black Pepper jam is to die for! I’ve been getting his jams from Brewer for a little over three years now and I couldn’t be happier to have him in the Ottawa food scene. His flavours are unique, memorable, and make you feel like you’re eating something special.

    Like

  10. Stephanie Sears says:

    I heard about Michaelsdolce jams via Instagram a few weeks ago. So my next chance I had to go to the Brewer Park Farmer’s Market, I sought him out. I found his jams and proceeded to sample every single one, while Michael happily told me all about the flavours and where he gets his fruits! After trying them all, my favourite is…

    The Peach & Cardamom Jam! Its perfect. If you haven’t tried it yet, go get some.

    I’ve sampled most of the jams that are for sale at the Farmers Market. If I hadn’t of purchased the peach & cardamom, I would of had to of picked up the apricot chili jam. Its so nice and sweet, then the spice hits after. So damn good.

    Like

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