Local business a finalist for 2022 Good Food Awards

(ABC 6 NEWS) – Grandma’s Gourmets located in Albert Lea is in the running for the 2022 Good Food Awards.

Kim Olson started Grandma’s Gourmets in 2008 after she lost her job.

She went back to college but needed a way to make some extra cash.

She decided to start making baked goods for farmer’s markets, but the shelf life isn’t very long, so she got to thinking.

"I learned how to make jam and stuff when I was like nine from my mom so that you don’t throw away," said Olson.

From there she started making salsa and pickles and the company continued to grow.

Her house became filled with jars so she got a commercial kitchen to keep up with demand.

"It started out with Kimmys, and then we had grandkids, and then my mom finally gave me my great grandma’s recipe for pickles," said Olson.

And that is how Grandma’s Gourmets was born.

They held demos in grocery stores across the state to introduce everyone to the homemade goods.

"Thinking out of the box cause I want stuff that nobody else has, nobody," said Olson.

The hard work has paid off.

Grandma’s Gourmets has been nominated six times for the Good Food Awards and they have won four times.

They are a finalist for the 2022 Good Food Awards with the jam Strawberry Sumac and Bay leaf.

"I just wanted to do something that you could go out and pick in the wild and then I don’t know I like to investigate what goes with what," said Olson.
She added, "This jam was sampled by all of my really great customers and I only made a really small batch for them to eat it and then I get feedback."

She isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

Olson and her husband Dan are partnering up with Coke and Sue Minehart to open Trumble’s 2.OH in Albert Lea on Nov. 16.

Just like Grandma’s the restaurant will feature plenty of homemade dishes.

"Homemade soups, homemade sauces, homemade dressings, homemade all kind of things, homemade pies, homemade baked goods. You name it," said Olson.

Olson said people are ready for all of that and a bag of chips.

The official awards ceremony for the Good Food Awards is set for Jan. 14.