Quince & Apple was founded in 2009 by husband and wife duo Matt and Clare Stoner Fehsenfeld. You can find Matt working in the kitchen developing preserves and working with stores and customers while Clare manages finances and overall strategy.
Matt's mom taught him to make preserves when he was three with the currant bushes in their backyard. He went to culinary school in Madison, Wisconsin, and spent several years working in high-end restaurants and managing a wholesale bakery there. Both Matt and Clare come from families of entrepreneurs and have a strong passion for food. "We wanted to create a small business with a complete hands-on approach in the kitchen and great relationships with our team, customers and our community,” Clare says, “every decision we make is motivated by building those relationships."
New preserve and syrup flavors start as a brainstorm. "We experiment with a lot of different ideas and go into a test batch process. This lasts from two batches and two days to fifty batches and two years!" Some recipes truly highlight Wisconsin's best fruit since Quince & Apple uses as many local products as they can source. Depending on the year and season, certain fruits can be hard to find. For example, to create enough Strawberry Rosemary preserves, the Quince & Apple team were hulling strawberries 8 hours a day to make the most of what they could find.
Being a small, hands-on business, Quince & Apple is able to focus on each batch from start to finish, giving them the ability to carefully correct for seasonal variations and keep the quality of the batches super high.
In 2018, Matt and Clare bought Treat Bake Shop, adding Sarah Marx Feldner’s delicious candied nuts to their repertoire – and officially becoming Quince & Apple | Treat. In 2011, inspired by the sweet candied pecans made for her by a childhood friend, Sarah set her sights on perfecting those pecans of yore and Treat Bake Shop was born. Her artisan spiced pecans, locally made with only the highest-quality ingredients, began garnering unanticipated, but much-deserved, attention. Sweet roasted nuts are readily available from city street vendors the world over, but Feldner’s attention to detail and nuanced palate sets her treats apart.
We can't wait to see what this new chapter will hold for Quince & Apple | Treat...and what delicious pairings they'll think up next.