We are continuously searching out products that are local to our area and local to Louisiana. There is so much talent in the food industry right in our own backyard! Today we are spotlighting two new products to the Curbside family. Let's hear their stories!
JT Meleck Distillers in Branch, LA, owned, grown and distilled by Mike Frugé, earned a number of honors this year including winning a Double Gold Medal (Vodka), Best of Category (Neutral Grain Vodka), and the coveted Best in Class (Vodka) in the 2020 American Distilling Institutes Spirits Competition.
Mike Fruge’s life has always revolved around rice. From a young age, he worked the fields of his family’s rice farm, eventually carrying on the business alongside his brother, Mark. While their focus shifted to crawfish farming over the years, rice was always at the heart of the operation. A surplus of rice in a tough market led to a new venture for Mike. While he always knew he was in the business of rice, he never imagined how far the
humble grain would take him.
It all started in the 1890s, when Fruge’s great, great uncle John and his siblings migrated south, settling in the Louisiana town of Branch. They devoted their lives to growing a style of rice known as Providence rice. This technique of farming on the marshland would hold winter rains on higher ground, while rice crops were planted on lower ground. Mike still grows rice on that same land.
Through the cycles of ups and downs of the industry, rice just isn’t always worth very much and was determined to find another use for the grain that their family’s livelihood was built around. He originally set his sights on making an American rice whiskey. He figured that’s what the market would prefer. But patience is the name of the whiskey game.
While the wait continued, Mike decided to experiment with a spirit that could hit the shelves a lot sooner. It took about six or seven tries to get the vodka recipe right. After that first sip in his usual cocktail, a classic martini, he knew they finally got it right. It was pretty incredible. This vodka continually beats out the big brands in blind tastings! Get your bottle of J.T. Meleck now!
Handcrafted in the heart of Louisiana, each jar of 2 Sisters' Salsa is made from authentic Cajun recipes which have been perfected in the owners' home kitchen. 2 Sisters’ Salsa Company began in the family kitchen in 2011 with a bumper crop of homegrown tomatoes. Since then, they have expanded into an industrial operation, increasing output by twentyfold. The company has expanded into 20 states and over 6,000 supermarkets. Now you can find this family business rooted in family tradition on GJ Curbside! Get your bottle of salsa today! There are many different varieties to choose from the 2 Sisters' Salsa line: Verde, Honey, Fiesta, Original and Jalapeño.