Justin Rashid is President and CEO of American Spoon Foods, Inc. in Petoskey, Michigan. He was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1952.
Mr. Rashid grew up behind the counters of family grocery stores in inner city Detroit and spent his childhood summers hiking and foraging in Michigan’s north woods around his parent’s Wildwood cabin. In 1974 he received a B.A. in English from Wayne State University and was an actor in The Hilberry Repertory Theatre there. After a brief acting career in New York City, he married Kate Marshall and they returned to Northern Michigan in 1978 where they opened The Whole Foods Store in Indian River. In 1979 he founded Berry Creek Foods to supply chefs with authentic ingredients from the farms and forests of Michigan and the Upper Midwest.
In 1982, he and New York Chef Larry Forgione co-founded American Spoon Foods, Inc. to produce the finest preserves in the world from Michigan fruits. The company was the first to market a line of specialty foods made from Michigan grown fruits on a national scale and pioneered the marketing of Michigan Dried Red Tart Cherries. In 1984 Justin Rashid was a recipient of the James Beard Award in recognition of exceptional leadership in American Cuisine. He was named by The Detroit News as a 1988 Michiganian of the Year for his marketing efforts on behalf of Michigan agricultural products. He serves as copywriter for the American Spoon Catalog, winner of the Gold Award as best food mail order catalog at The American Catalog Awards in 1990. Today American Spoon Foods sells over 100 different preserves, condiments and specialties through six American Spoon retail stores, its catalog, ww.spoon.com and hundreds of specialty retailers nationwide. In July of 2001, American Spoon Café & Gelato opened on Pennsylvania Park adjacent to the company’s flagship store in downtown Petoskey, offering 24 original flavors of authentic Italian Gelato made on the premises.
Mr. Rashid says his work at American Spoon has been driven by a love of Michigan’s Northern Fruitlands and a passion for capturing flavors that can’t be found anywhere else. American Spoon specialty fruit products have been recognized by hundreds of the nation’s food writers and have received the National Association of Specialty Foods Trades Gold Award as best Jam, Jelly Preserve or Spread. In April 2006 American Spoon Strawberry Butter was awarded the Gallo Family Gold Medal as Best Artisanal Condiment. National Geographic Traveler called the company, “A National Treasure”, and noted that many of its products cannot be found on a commercial level from any other source.