The Food Issue

Dragonfly Gourmet Foods pursues the art of canning

Dragonfly Gourmet Foods products are produced by hand.
Dragonfly Gourmet Foods products are produced by hand.

Lots of people are taking up home canning these days, but a perfect pickle is still hard to come by.

Krista Koetting trained at Le Cordon Bleu culinary schools in Chicago and Orlando, Fla., but it was her experience canning at her grandma’s side on a farm in Sedalia, Mo., that best equipped her for the business she recently started with husband Quinten Koetting.

Dragonfly Gourmet Foods’ two signature items, marinara sauce and dill pickles, have won a local following at stores such as Sundry in the Crossroads and Olive Tree in Hawthorne Plaza in Overland Park, not because they are innovative, but because they achieve a perfection and consistency that can be won only from years of hands-on experience.

The couple make all their products by hand in small batches. Even as they expand their product range and distribution, they are dedicated to retaining their labor-intensive, artisanal production methods.

“The reason we started this was because we love the taste and the way it is made — not running ingredients through a bunch of machines that don’t care about food. But we have big dreams. We look at McClure’s Pickles and Brooklyn Brine (two artisanal canned-food companies out of New York) to see where artisanal can take us,” Quinten said.

The Olathe company usually has about a dozen products available: mild, hot and bread-and-butter pickles; marinara; salsas; and fruit spreads.

▪ Dragonfly Gourmet Foods,