Happy Birthday to Unicoi Preserves

Happy Birthday to Unicoi Preserves

Unicoi Preserves turned one year old at Habersham Winery at WineFest this past Saturday. What a fitting place for us to celebrate our first birthday since it’s where we debuted our products last May.
The Pot Stirrer and the Spread Specialist
Phickle Chickle Angie, Spread Specialist Suzy, GM of Habersham Winery, Emily &  her fun sister Sandi
WineFest coincided with the Kentucky Derby this year

It was really like Habersham Winery threw a party for us, with great live music from Tim P. White, awesome food from Mully’s Nacoochee Grill, 19 local wineries and a fun photo booth from Fancy Doodle. We had lots of friends stop by throughout the day, including Sarah who jumped in and helped us fix samples (Yay! Sarah) We were set up in the tank room and were in good company back there with  Angie Tillman of Phickle’s Pickles fame, Christina from VIP Southern Tours as well as Southern Distinctions magazine. Pappy was set up out back smoking chicken and fish on his grilling planks and even glazed some with our award winning Georgia Apple Cider Pepper Spread.

Beautiful people and new fans of Apple Cider Pepper Spread

Saturday’s weather forecast was for sunshine and no rain, the perfect spring day in the mountains and we knew we were going to be busy. We actually shopped for sample supplies and started our prep work early in the week so we’d be organized for the day. Friday Clark packed the car while I readied sample supplies and took care of last minute details like signage (a big shout out to Betsy!)  Amazingly, we were done in time to make the kick off of First Friday in Sautee at Sheilah’s Village Market.

Sheilah and Steve have worked hard turning this monthly event into something that benefits the community. Every month, they, along with their employees and volunteers from the Smithgall Humane Society are at First Friday with food, music and beverages under the shade trees in their park. We saw people there over the course of the night that we’d lost touch with over the winter months and were able to catch up with everyone.

At the end of the night, Clark and I sat out under the stars and bright moon talking to friends who wanted to know how we wound up moving to Sautee from south Georgia. We have a diverse group of friends but our common thread, outside the love of great wine and food,  seems to be the peace and tranquility of the Sautee Valley and our mountains, along with the sense of the community that makes you feel a part of it, regardless of where you were born. There are some places that may make you feel unwelcome if you weren’t born and raised there, but Sautee isn’t one of them. “We weren’t born in Sautee but we got here as fast as we could!” Thanks Debbie & Donna!

We’ve learned a lot over the past year and each day in the jelly business brings a new adventure and realization about who we are personally, as a company, how we fit into our local community, economy and the  food community. What will the next year bring?

I don’t know but I’m ready.

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