Day 240: Pam's Pantry

Pam's Pantry
Photo courtesy of Pam's Pantry

Upon selecting a sampler from Pam’s Pantry, looking at the list of choices literally made me yell out loud to myself, “How do I choose?!” Everything Pam and her wonderful staff (made up solely of family members) create looks absolutely amazing.  Her website details a complete listing of all their gourmet vegetable dip mixes, salad dressings, cheese spreads, fruit and cheesecake mixes, salsa mixes, barbecues and picklers. I immediately thought to myself, “Well I should have party! That way I can make everything at once!” And while I did not have a party, I did, in fact, make everything at once.

Pam got her start shortly after her husband was injured at work.  After about two years of struggles with finances and workman’s comp, Pam decided to finally go forward with her dream of working professionally in the kitchen. She took a chance and invested $100 in herself, hoping to sell her “concoctions.” Pam and her sister went to their first craft show in November of 2003, with only four kinds of mixes in hand. Both were extremely shocked and overjoyed when the first mix sold.  High sales during that first craft show surprised them equally and they decided to keep at it.

Pam's Pantry
Photo courtesy of Pam's Pantry

Now, nine years later, Pam says she is still having just as much fun, meeting more and more great people, and has yet to get enough sleep.  On any given weekend, you can find Pam doing an assortment of shows, and offers an email list  for her fans to receive to see where she will be and when.  One of the unique aspects of Pam’s Pantry is that the whole family is involved; brothers, sisters, parents, aunts, and uncles; all of whom play an important and very cherished role in her business.

On Pam’s Pantry’s website itself, it states, “everyone loves to dip,” and how true that is! In testing out all of my samples, my favorite had to be the Tomato N’ Garlic, with Cheddar & Ale being a close second. Both dips were amazing with crackers and tortilla chips. A typical packet will make about two cups worth of dip and only requires a few additional ingredients, such as mayonnaise and sour cream. Pam’s specialties are now sold in several stores in 7-8 states, all of which is handmade in her dedicated kitchen in Grand Ledge.

Pam's Pantry
Photo courtesy of Pam's Pantry

Arguably, one of the best parts of Pam’s website is all of the recipes! She shows you how to take one of her delicious mixes and make it into a wondrous creation. For example, you can learn how to take a packet of Tom’s Tropical Treat and turn it into a Tropical Daiquiri. There are so many different things you can make with any one of these packets, there’s a recipe that shows how to make wet burritos using Khory’s Kickin’ Salsa packet and even one that demonstrates how to make mini pizza pies using Ed’s Pizza Pizzazz.  Inventing your own concoction is encouraged, but for those of you (and me) who might need assistance, check out any one of the YouTube videos below to push the creative process along. ~Jennifer Hamilton, Feature Writer

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