Rare Bird Preserves

Oak Park, Illinois

If you’ve ever tried your hand at preserving, you know the process is a labor of love. For Rare Bird Preserves Founder, Elizabeth Madden, that labor of love began in Chicago, where her love affair with preserving fruits was fostered by the French Pastry School. Drawn to preserving as a bygone skill in the modern era, she has thoughtfully prepared hundreds and thousands of jars of her signature French-inspired preserves.

A former artist, Elizabeth says she was drawn to the simplicity of preserving fruit, taking inspiration from nature, color, and elemental processes that’ve been passed down through cultures for generations. Since founding the company, she spends her time in the kitchen, based on the Oak Park neighborhood of Chicago, where she inspects each and every locally-grown fruit for the utmost in quality, fulfills orders through small-batch methods, and taste test new seasonal varieties.

We love that these delightful preserves, which are handmade from local fruits like apples, peaches, and raspberries, often arrive to Elizabeth’s kitchen still warm from the sun, having been picked only hours earlier. What’s more, we’re amazed that Rare Bird Preserves is free from commercial pectin, the agent that tells fruit mixtures and holds them firmly together in a jam-like consistency, and instead comes naturally from Elizabeth’s harvest of apples, apricots, and citrus fruits.

You and your family will love Rare Bird Preserves’ beautiful assortment of preserves with your breakfast and beyond. Pair the sweet succulence with herbed cheeses or meats, spooned on sandwiches, or shaken into vinaigrettes. Their aromatic intensity is also a perfect match for baked goods, piped into jelly doughnuts, layered in cakes, or pooled on thumbprint cookies. This is, truly, a product that chameleons delightfully with any kind of dish you can imagine.