Incubator Kitchen Spotlight: Cellar Door Preserves

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Downtown Market

When Zenobia Taylor-Weiss graduated from Calvin College in 2011, she had a desire to eat local but unfortunately, as most recent grads, didn’t have extra cash to spare. Instead of falling into the trap of consuming heavily processed, cheaper foods, she taught herself how to can. Taylor-Weiss knew that Michigan produces the greatest produce variety of any state besides California, and believed that people should be able to enjoy that produce any time of the year.

Weiss started creating jams, jellies and spreads so she could enjoy Michigan produce and not be limited by growing seasons. She first started off canning for herself, but quickly progressed to canning for others too. Shortly after graduation, Taylor-Weiss moved to Baltimore where she worked in the non-profit sector and continued canning. Soon after her move, she started preZerve, a business focused on teaching public classes and holding private events to showcase the art of canning.

It wasn’t long before the young entrepreneur decided to move back to Grand Rapids.

“I knew that there were exciting things happening in the food scene in Michigan so I decided to move back. At the time, no one else in the Grand Rapids area was focusing on canning,” said Taylor-Weiss.

Her new business, Cellar Door Preserves, has been operating just under a year. She currently utilizes our Incubator Kitchen to make her products. She found out about our space from her former roommate, Emily Helmus, founder of Bloom Ferments, another tenant in our Incubator Kitchen.

When talking about the benefits of working out of our Incubator Kitchen, Taylor-Weiss said, “Owning a business, I have so many things to worry about and I am thankful that a kitchen isn’t one of them. I have access to resources that help me with licensing, community connections and much more. Plus, I get to connect with different people who are also small business owners.”

Taylor Weiss has found success in Grand Rapids. Cellar Door products are offered at five different businesses across Michigan and locations are expanding quickly. You can also find Cellar Door at various community events.

The Cellar Door Preserves founder has some advice for aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs.

“You have to live in the fear. Some days I wake up and I think what am I doing? But you have to put your time and passion into your project. Things will continue to get better. It’s OK to be afraid to pursue your goal, you just have to ride with it.”

As for the future of Cellar Door Preserves? Taylor Weiss said, “ I want my business to become an integral part of the food community here. I hope to soon have my products used in restaurants around the city.”

It doesn’t seem like her dreams are far out of reach.

More about Cellar Door Preserves:

Based out of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, Cellar Door Preserves: currently offers both classic and innovative jams, jellies, and spreads.

You can find Cellar Door Preserves products in Grand Rapids at Art of the Table, Martha’s Vineyard, Roots Brew Shop and Spice Merchants, in Bay City at The Pantry, and Petoskey at Petoskey Cheese.

Cellar Door will also be at Grand Rapids community events this fall including the Grand Rapids Veg Fest on 9/17, and at Harvest Hullaballoo at the Downtown Market on 10/7.

Learn more about Cellar Door Preserves via the web, Facebook, and Instagram.