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Local First Utah Blog

Recently, Local First Utah launched the Local First Leader’s Circle, a group of business owners and citizens who are committed to the 'buy local' movement, and directly provide Local First Utah with financial support.

We’d like to honor and thank Amour Spreads, one of the founding members of the Local First Leader’s Circle. We asked John and Casee Francis, owners of Amour Spreads, a to tell us about their business, and why the Local First movement matters to them. Their story exemplifies the remarkable contributions that local businesses make to our communities.

Q: What is the story behind Amour Spreads?          

A: Amour Spreads began as a result of our love for delicious, simple, wholesome food, our love for the outdoors and gardening, our love for one another, and an unplanned encounter with a patch of wild thimbleberries too luscious to ignore.  In August 2010 while on a hike on our anniversary, we chanced upon that thimbleberry patch which launched our passion for making preserves.  Over the next year we experienced a growing enthusiasm by friends and jam lovers for more of what we were making so we launched Amour Spreads in late 2011 offering our community local, hand-crafted, artisan jams and marmalades featuring seasonal, fresh and sustainably grown fruit.

Q: How do you contribute to the vitality of our community?

A: Amour Spreads contributes in a number of ways.  First, we do our best to support local businesses.  We purchase our fruit primarily from direct relationships with small, local growers or small, locally owned suppliers.  We do the same for many of the additional supplies we use in our products from boxes to labels to farmers market signs.  Then we sell our products locally through small, independent retailers like Liberty Heights Fresh and Caputo's Market, as well as restaurants like Pago, Tulie Bakery and Faustina, allowing them an opportunity to expand their local offerings.  Amour also actively participates in local events from farmers markets to non-profit fundraisers, helping to expand the awareness of our local food scene. Finally, we started Amour Spreads with a business plan based on giving back to the community.  Rather than from profits, Amour started from day one with giving back integrated into our cost structure.  This year, we’re proud to contribute to our three “SpreadLove” non-profit partners:  Local First Utah, Equality Utah and Slow Food Utah.

Q: Who are two or three of your favorite local businesses?

A: That’s so hard to do!  It would be easier to name two or three DOZEN!

In our first year as Amour Spreads, several stand out:
  •  S&R Fruit was the first local grower we worked with and still one of our favorites.
  • Scott Doutre / Prerogative Design is an amazing graphic designer who hand drew each individual piece of fruit on our labels.
  •  Roofers Supply is a locally owned, family run business with a mission to support local.
  • Slow Food Utah’s micro-grant to Amour Spreads helped us immensely.
  • Liberty Heights Fresh support of us and other local producers is legendary.
  • PAGO was the first business to adopt our product and continues to be an enthusiastic supporter.

 Other local businesses we love include Caputo’s Markets, TRACES Organic Gardens, Turiya’s Gifts, Squatters, The State Room, Broadway Theatre, Mazza, King's English Bookstore, The Coffee Garden, Elemental Balance, Orchid Dynasty, The Children's Hour and we could go on & on!


Q: Why do you support the Local First movement?

A: We believe that the stronger our local businesses and the stronger our local community, the better!  We are local and truly understand the power that can be created from locals supporting locals!  Supporting local allows us to live more simply, with a smaller carbon footprint, while connecting us to our community.  We love knowing where our food comes from, who our neighbors are, and supporting one another's passions and well-being.  We love being in relationship with our purchases because then we’re supporting someone's ability to love what they do and make a living doing it.  When we can do that, we think it creates more gratitude and a spirit of generosity that builds a healthy and mutually supportive community. 

Amour Spreads is just one of the hundreds of locally owned, independent business in Utah that are valuable and vital to our economy and our communities. If you would like more information regarding the Local First Leader's Circle, please contact


Published in Local First Utah Blog