Never did Lauri Jo Bennett think that the love of canning would lead to a successful business. She spent many hours in the kitchen with her husband’s grandmother, Nita, canning the fruits and vegetables from the farming community where they lived. After his grandmother passed, Lauri Jo and Mike moved back to her hometown of Norman Park, Georgia. It was there Lauri Jo discovered the recipes of her own dear Grandmother Loyce while moving into her childhood home.
Her love of canning grew as she discovered the canning plant at the local high school. “I found joy and comfort in the art of canning as I felt it was a way to preserve the labor of love our local farmers put into their crops and also the timeless traditions of canning that is so important to our southern heritage.”
In 2009, Lauri Jo stepped out in faith and left her job as a Special Education teacher and began canning full time. Soon, Lauri Jo’s Southern Style Canning began with a hand full of products and has since evolved into the brand it is today. Lauri Jo’s certainly was, and is still, a family affair; her mother, mother-in-law, husband and kids have all worked, or still work, with her. In 2015 Lauri Jo gained a new business partner, Layne Varnedoe, “We truly are a team in every sense of the word. Together we look to our past but are more excited about what the future holds for us.”
Three words describe Lauri Jo’s: nostalgic, innovative and Southern. Lauri Jo reflects, “We have people tell us daily “These pickles taste just like my grandmother used to make!” or “I haven’t had pepper jelly in years. We have taken the timeless southern tradition of red or green pepper jelly and given it new life with various flavors from Honey Bacon Horseradish to Southern Pecan Jalapeno. Each recipe upholds the time honored traditions of the south, creating a delicious product that is enjoyed all over the world.”
Lauri Jo further points out that “all of our products are made in house here at our Canning Facility in Norman Park, Georgia. I personally no longer get in the kitchen with our wonderful kitchen team. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all!” All of the ingredients for their products are grown locally with the exception of the pineapples in the Pineapple Pepper Jelly.
A special honor was bestowed on Lauri Jo’s when their Strawberry Jam was chosen by a Chef at Mercedes Benz Stadium to be used in 200 Private Suites for this year’s Super Bowl – Fried Chicken and Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits topped with Lauri Jo’s Strawberry Jam. What an Honor for this company!
Their products can be found at specialty gift shops and boutiques nationwide or you can purchase online.