Flavors of the Fruitlands: An Ode to Michigan 

Presented by
Justin Rashid
Co-founder, American Spoon Foods, Inc., Petoskey, Mich.

Podcast courtesy of WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified

Michigan has some fruity history, and who better to tell us the tale than the state’s best-known proponent of its fabled fruitland than Justin Rashid, co-founder of American Spoon Foods, Inc. Join us as Justin shares his entrepreneurial insight into founding his iconic company and then cherry picks his way through his state’s sweet and tangy history.

Our program will cover:

Overview of Michigan’s fruitlands.

Why Western Michigan became the Tart Cherry Capital of the World.

Michigan’s distinguished fruit varieties.

Michigan’s role in recent culinary history: Dried cherries; Jerry Oleson and the return of the Buffalo;

Michigan Morels, Thimbleberries and Squeaky Cheese of the UP

And of course, we will sample American Spoon’s luscious products.


In 1982, Justin Rashid and New York Chef Larry Forgione co-founded American Spoon Foods, Inc. to produce some of the finest preserves in the world from Michigan fruits. The company was the first to market specialty foods made from Michigan-grown products on a national scale and pioneered the marketing of Michigan Dried Red Tart Cherries. In 1984, Justin Rashid was a recipient of the James Beard Award in recognition of exceptional leadership in American Cuisine.

Program hosted at Robert Morris College Institute of Culinary Arts.