Hot Pepper Peach Jam on the production line at Stonewall Kitchen’s headquarters in York. Photos courtesy of Stonewall Kitchen

Wild blueberry jam, apple cranberry chutney and dark chocolate sea salt caramel sauce are among the fancy-flavored condiments made at Stonewall Kitchen. But at the base of these products are ingredients like eggs and herbs that come from its home state of Maine.

A handsome, garden-filled campus on Route 1 in York is home to the company’s biggest store and production facility, which welcomes more than 500,000 visitors each year, making it one of the state’s largest tourism magnets. There, you can sample endless savory marinades, chunky jams and tangy salsas (and find discounted items – including pottery, table linens and other kitchen and home decor – not often available in the satellite store locations).

Stonewall Kitchen’s company store in York is its biggest and has discounted items that you won’t find elsewhere.

Find yourself a table at the cafe indoors or grab an Adirondack chair on the pergola-capped patio, and then get in line for some delicious baked goods or a meal-sized nosh like the scrumptious lobster B.L.T. with lemon herb aioli on puffy brioche bread.

The campus also offers a year-round schedule of cooking classes demonstrated by professional chefs, which you can sign up for online (stonewallkitchen.com/visit-us/cooking-school). If you want to see how it’s done on a larger scale, swing through the production facility’s viewing gallery and watch through the windows to learn about the company’s process of craft batch jam making.

The jam is what got the Stonewall ball rolling. Back in 1991, Jim Stott and Jonathan King started selling handmade jars of it at a local farmers’ market, and then expanded to sauces, mustards, condiments, baking mixes and more. These days, their products are sold in upwards of 6,000 locations nationally and internationally, and they have won more than 25 coveted awards from the Specialty Food Association, including the top awards in the industry.

The company still prioritizes using as many local, high-quality Maine ingredients as possible, including in its baking mixes for both traditional and creative goods, from scones to lemon fig shortbread squares. The line of aioli has its own cult following, for flavors like the incendiary ghost pepper, as does the fire-roasted salsa and spicy corn relish. Company classics like the old farmhouse chutney can jazz up sandwiches and cheese platters, and the lemon curd might less often get spread on anything than eaten by the spoonful.

Alexandra Hall is a longtime New England lifestyle writer who recently moved to Maine.


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