Thanks to the internet, you can get anything online and delivered right to your door, but there’s something special about receiving a handcrafted item that someone else took the time to make.
Made By LLC, a small family run business in Suffield, Connecticut specializes in handcrafted gifts of all kinds, from award winning jams and jellies, to handcrafted pens, to custom gift baskets.
Owner/operator Libby Begin is the primary maker, her husband Ernie is a woodworker and their two young daughters Addie, 8, and Betty, 5, are on the cusp of being able to make their own goods as well. Addie helped create their spiced dandelion spread and she also sews dried corn cold and hot packs. Betty has Type 1 diabetes and her diagnosis inspired Begin to create a no sugar added spiced blueberry jam, which all the proceeds from that product are donated to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“We are makers by trade,” Begin said. “That’s the thought behind the name, Made By LLC. Our logo has our company name rather large and there’s a blank space underneath where the maker signs their name. As we grow, we want it to encompass all of the things that we make and other makers too.”
Made By LLC has over 30 flavors of jams, jellies and spreads. They are all spiced and seasonal, as they are only made with local fruit picked at the peak of ripeness. Their most popular are: spiced pear jam, spiced strawberry rhubarb jam, spiced blueberry jam, spiced hot pepper spread, spiced red raspberry jelly and spiced fig jam.
Begin told Go Local the original recipe for the spiced pear jam was passed down from her grandmother, Mema, and is truly a comfort food that remains her favorite flavor. She has added more flavors to the collection over time and loves to experiment with what they grow and create new flavors. One of Begin’s favorite flavors she developed is the smoky spiced peach jam and said it’s wonderful with a charcuterie board or as a condiment on a burger or sandwich.
Made By LLC is both licensed as a cottage food kitchen for items such as their jams and a six-acre farm named Cross Street Farm for items like their peppers and cucumbers that go into their hot sauces, pickles and more.
They have a wide breadth of products from mustard to sugar and spice mixed nuts, beeswax wraps and twinkle honey. They are working on hot honey for this year, which will be a new product.
Begin has always been creative and is at her happiest when she’s making. Begin was in Higher Education before she become a stay-at-home mom from 2015-2018. At that time, she was making hundreds of jars of jams to give away because it brought her joy. “It was fun for me to make,” Begin said. “I love consumable gifts and I think it’s really nice to give someone something they can use and enjoy.”
She shared that everyone in her circle would tell her she should start a business and sell her goods. That prompted the idea for Begin, and it grew from there. In October of 2018, Made By LLC began when the cottage food law passed in Connecticut. Begin said, “I love to help people celebrate and getting to know customers through their orders is such a bonus for me.” She continued,
“From birthdays and anniversaries to weddings and baby showers, they all are special. I pour so much love and care into making them because I am so honored when people choose my business to help celebrate life’s special moments.”
Made By LLC have participated in fairs such as Christmas in Suffield, Hayden Station’s Holiday Craft Fair in Windsor, Two Moms on a Mission Quarter Auctionsand Suffield Alight. They had a grand reopening of their new and improved farmstand back in July, going from a small potting shed that was repurposed into a farm stand to a 7- by 8-foot greenhouse the Begin customized into the new farmstand.
Made By LLC is also part of a program at the Eastern States Exposition in the Connecticut building called being a “Showcase Vendor” as a way for small businesses to get their foot in the door at the Big E. They have won several awards from the Big E for their jams and jellies, blue ribbons for every flavor they have entered and “Best of Department” for both the Jam and Jelly departments for
several years running. This is Made by LLC’s second year at the program and will be at the Connecticut building on Sept. 23 and 24. They will also be attending Christmas in Suffield at the Second Baptist Church on Saturday, Nov. 4.
Begin said she is hoping to upgrade to a commercial kitchen in the next couple of years so she can continue to add to Made By LLC’s product line and follow where inspiration leads her and her family.
“The thing that brings me joy is bringing joy to others,” Begin said. “I love making all of this stuff and I love sharing it with our customers.”
She continued, “I love sharing it with my daughters as they’re growing up, instilling in them that work can be fun and enjoyable. It’s all about doing things that bring us joy. We just love both making and learning to make.”
MADE BY LLC IS LOCATED ON 50 CROSS ST.
OPEN DAILY FROM 9 A.M.- 8 P.M. VISIT THEIR
WEBSITE AT WWW.MADEBY.GIFTS OR CALL
860-368-0215 FOR MORE INFORMATION.
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