Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

Jar Goods

A fashion photography studio manager, Melissa Regan Vitelli didn't understand how people were supposed to get their bills paid, connect with friends and still, somehow, find a moment to cook. She didn't have time to stand over a pot on the stove all day, but she still wanted to eat food that tasted like she had. So she teamed up with her sister-in-law, Laura Vitelli Roth, to crank out shortcut jarred goods made with natural ingredients.

The duo started Jar Goods with a recipe from Laura’s father, John Vitelli Sr., who owned and operated Jule’s Italian restaurant in Jersey City. The Classic Red sauce is a direct descendant of the tomato goodness John used to stir up in his kitchen (but now with actual measurements).

Now that they’re working full-time, providing hungry, busy people like us with a versatile red sauce that actually tastes like vine-ripened tomatoes, Melissa still says her biggest challenges are “time management and fitting everything in.” But with help from family, friends and strangers, they’re improving the quick-and-easy pantry one jar at a time, and at least Melissa always has something delicious to serve for dinner. Heat, stir and your pasta is photo-ready. 

On being a Midwesterner:

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. I will always call it pop, not soda.

Why the Vitelli Family recipe?

The tomato sauce shelf at the store is a major offender - I find other jarred red sauces are too watery, thin and sweet, yet somehow tasteless. Thus, my father-in-law's sauce was a no-brainer for our first product. We allow the tomatoes, olive oil, onions and garlic to shine through and use a very minimal amount of salt and sugar.