Barb’s Garden Pantry

If you think retirement means sitting back and relaxing, take a second look at Barb and Steve Pethoud. Retired nurse and firefighter, respectively, these two appear to be working harder than ever! When their kids were about to go to college, Barb and Steve started their “small” business in order to help meet tuition costs. They began working out of their basement, making jams, granola, and a few of the baked goods you now see on their overflowing tables at market. They quickly outgrew the basement, and the part-time business became full-time, with two full-time employees.

Barb and Steve serve as many as six farmers’ markets during the summer, but year round they are supplying grocery stores and coffee shops with their jams, granola, and baked goods. You can buy their jams and granola in the Health Market at Hy-Vee on Locust or NW Arterial in Dubuque. They also take online, emailed, and telephone orders.

Jams are the beginning of what you are wowed by at Barb’s market stand. Beautiful, rich colors in gleaming jars, all in rows beckon you to the table. Barb and Steve use every fruit and combination thereof imaginable. They grow a lot of the fruits themselves. The pectins are natural, and other ingredients are chosen with utmost attention to quality and health benefit. There are even five, among the more than 50, varieties that use no added sugars.

Once there, ask about the other carefully chosen ingredients for the granola with flax seed. Let your eyes wander down to the crusty wholegrain breads before they are teased along the line straight to the chocolate croissants or pulled a little farther to a decisive halt at the ever popular apple cider donuts. Too many choices! They’re all incredibly beautiful and remarkably delicious.

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