A longtime fixture in Eastern Market and the southeastern Michigan farming and food community has purchased a well-known local food brand, Beau Bien Fine Foods. This week, the gourmet products’ new owner Katrina Iott, an organic tomato farmer, is celebrating the rebranding of Beau Bien with a new name: Aunt Katrina’s Preserves, Chutneys and Condiments.
Iott, whose family has owned Iott Ranch & Orchard in Petersburg, Michigan, since 1960, purchased Beau Bien Fine Foods from founder Noelle Lothamer in late 2019. Lothamer and Molly O’Meara started the company in Eastern Market in 2010.
After meeting in the Market, Iott started co-packing her Aunt Katrina’s “Kat-chup” roasted tomato condiment in Lothamer’s facility. Iott, who has been preserving and canning food her whole life, now owns the recipes and operates the Beau Bien Fine Foods business, which includes hand-crafted products like blueberry lemon vanilla preserves, Michigan apple mustard and sweet and spicy tomato preserves.
This week she’s officially rebranding all 24 of her products under the Aunt Katrina’s Adventures label.
“My mission is to teach people how to grow their own food from seed and then preserve it and eat it, or sell it, or give it away,” said Iott, who is affectionately known around Eastern Market as “the tomato lady.” She’s also on the board of the Eastern Market Partnership.
Iott will celebrate the rebranding of Beau Bien Foods with the Aunt Katrina’s label on Saturday in Eastern Market in stalls 217 and 219 of Shed 2 where she sells her tomatoes. The launch coincides with Iott’s Eastern Market’s neighbor Detroit City Distillery and the reopening of the open-air street bar on Riopelle. The distillery’s new spring cocktail menu features fresh, seasonal ingredients obtained from Eastern Market.
“We’re having a week full of parties, festivities and fun things,” said Iott.
Iott is bringing in her friend, master sommelier Eddie Osterland for some of the events this week, like a fundraising VIP party at the outside bar on Riopelle May 5 for Cinco de Mayo. On March 6, Iott will have Osterland as her guest on her monthly “Jammin’ with Aunt Katrina” virtual free happy hour, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tune in via her Instagram @beaubienfinefoods.
Osterland is also set to team up with fellow master sommelier Madeline Triffon for a socially distanced, industry-only event next week, hosted by Iott.
Iott will also have an open house at her organic tomato farm, noon-6 p.m. May 7 at 20250 Lulu Road in Petersburg, with farm tours, food and drink to celebrate the rebranding. This will be the new home of Aunt Katrina’s Adventure’s Private Reserve Kitchen where she will make special batches of her preserves, chutneys and condiments.
Our special thanks to:detroitnews.com