Apple butter from Detroit purveyor Gus & Grey wins big at national food awards

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Detroit jam company Gus & Grey has won a national award for its hand-crafted, organic apple butter, Teachers Pet. 

The spread, one of many small-batch products made by Gus & Grey owner Tara Grey, took home a win Friday night at the Good Food Awards in San Francisco. It was one of 16 finalists in the "preserves" category.

Gus & Grey apple butter Teacher's Pet won a Good Food Award in San Franciso.

Initially Grey didn't want to add apple butter to her line of products, which includes jams in flavors of strawberry ginger, sweet jalapeno, peach bourbon vanilla and more. She said she grew up getting served homemade apple butter that she didn't find exciting as a child. 

"We thought it was the worst thing going," said Grey of mom's version. "And then about five years ago people started asking me about apple butter and I'm like, no, I'm not making that. Why would I make that?" 

Good thing she changed her mind, because it earned her the Good Food Award Friday night. 

Now, she says Teacher's Pet is one of the products she's most proud of. Naturally, she uses Michigan-grown apples. 

"I get my apples from a few places ... Plymouth Orchard, those are organic certified apples and those specific ones I used for this entry, and I also get a lot of apples from Fusilier Farms, which is in Manchester, Michigan, outside of Ann Arbor," said Grey. 

The apple butter, sold in a 10 ounce jar for $8, also has cane sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and "a wee bit of bourbon." Find it around town, or on her website,

The Good Food Awards get around 2,000 entries each year. After a blind tasting, the pool was narrowed down to around 400 finalists this year from 43 states. Awards are given in a variety of categories including beer, cheese, chocolate, grains, pickles, spirits and others. 

Along with Gus & Grey's apple butter, other Michigan finalists include cheese from Idyll Farms, cider from Virtue Cider and Craft & Mason Coffee.

Twitter: @melodybaetens