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  • Meet the Maker: Liza Naylor, Locally Seasoned

    Julie Gallagher

    Learn more about the people and products in these Q&As with Specialty Food Association member companies.

    What does your company produce?

    Handcrafted chutneys designed for hot and cold meats and cheeses.

    Did you have a food background before launching your company?

    I grew up in the 70s in an international home learning to cook dishes from all over the world. It was there that I was inspired to learn and share our deeper connection to culinary culture. After raising four children, I jumped into the food industry, learning from local chefs and entrepreneurs. In 2017, Locally Seasoned was launched, teaching cooking classes and providing personal chef services.

    How did the idea for your product/company come about?

    In March 2020, every business hit a brick wall and faced some of the biggest challenges of our time. We were catering at the time and all of our bookings were cancelled indefinitely. Locally Seasoned would have to pivot to succeed. It became clear that we needed to offer products for sale in local stores, markets and online to sustain our future. We focused in on those unique pantry items we always created for our clients, like chutneys, pickles, spice mixes, vinaigrettes, and marinades.

    Why did you get involved in specialty foods?

    It can be difficult in a rural area to find like-minded foodies. In searching online for gourmet pantry products and specialty foods, I found the SFA.

    What is your favorite thing about the specialty food industry?

    The textures. The flavors. The ingredients. The stories and cultures behind each dish. The energy of the food community.

    What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new specialty food business?

    Breathe. Give yourself some grace. The entrepreneurial journey to success looks more like a preschooler’s angry scribble than an architectural drawing.

    If you weren’t running a food business, what would you be doing?

    Puttering in the garden, foraging, hiking, and cooking for friends and neighbors. I would be listening to loud music, personal development podcasts, and audiobooks.

    What does specialty mean to you?

    Specialty foods provide the recipe to help us discover our history, stir joy into the present, and finish with hope for the future. They remind us of just how strong and resilient we can be because life is worth tasting!

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