Virginia Brands Shine in the “Made in the South” Awards from Garden & Gun!

Three Virginia brands had some happy news this holiday season. All were announced as Runners Up in the Garden & Gun Magazine “Made in the South” awards for 2022.

Our friends at Back Pocket Provisions (Richmond) were recognized for Bloody Brilliant. Selected from a large field of incredible candidates, their signature bloody mary mix is a balance of fresh tomato juice and horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper. This fruit-forward blend is hands down a very tasty addition to any brunch, party, or evening of porch sitting and chin-wagging. 

Of course, the team behind the tastiest cocktails has always been winners in our eyes. Their mission is to work with farmers to turn delicious but ugly fruits and vegetables into the best Bloody Mary mix is one we can totally support. We ALL benefit from a local food system that’s better for farmers, consumers, and communities.

In the Home category, Heart and Spade Forge (Roanoke) also placed as Runner Up. Owner Jed Curtis crafts steel from mills in Roanoke and South Carolina to forge bespoke cookware designed to stand the test of time. “I never really considered that it would be a job, though,” Curtis shared with G&G., But after a retiring New York blacksmith sold him the contents of his shop, Curtis settled and opened Heart & Spade Forge in 2016.

Last but not least, People Via Plants (Richmond) also came in as Runner Up in the Crafts category. Matt Spahr and Valerie Molnar were both instructors at Virginia Commonwealth University when they realized that their skills complemented each other. They teamed up to produce vibrant planters, vases, and mugs through a  production process that involves using a computerized router to make molds, slip casting with clay, and embracing unexpected outcomes. 

While the usual mold-making process involves a rough pass followed by smoothing out the final product, they choose to keep the dimples created by the router. A unique square handle and a dazzling variety of glazes give their mugs a funky charm.

You can check out all the G&G Made in the South Winners here. Watch the full feature on NBC’s Today Show by clicking here.

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