Loyal to Local: Little Black Box Baked Goods

Loyal to Local: Little Black Box Baked Goods
Crystal Israel at the Riverside Arts Market

The Riverside Arts Market (RAM), now in its 13th year, is a weekly makers and farmers market hosted by Riverside Avondale Preservation on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., rain or shine. Each week more than 100 small business owners gather under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge to sell their products to the local community. Learn more about some of the incredible vendors that make RAM a must-visit part of each Saturday.

Crystal Israel, owner and founder of Little Black Box Baked Goods, jokes that she traded in the 50-hour work week of corporate grind to embrace the 15-hour days that entrepreneurial life affords. While the joke isn’t entirely untrue, Little Black Box had humble beginnings. After moving back home to Jacksonville Crystal began selling small batch baked goods at local events for the fun of it.

As her baking skills continued to advance Crystal ran into an issue: fillings for her baked goods that weren’t full of chemicals were almost impossible to find. Instead of settling for what was available, Crystal decided to focus all her energy into making handcrafted, fruit-forward jams and never looked back.

2 jars of Little Black Box jam

From just one look at Little Black Box’s product list, you’ll know this is certainly not the Smucker’s you grew up on. In place of the high fructose corn syrup are interesting flavor profiles, with a mix of both sweet and savory options. Blackberry Bourbon Vanilla to Banana Rum Lime and everything in between, there is a Little Black Box jam for virtually every palate. The goodness doesn’t stop with the jams. Each Little Black Box baked item honors traditional, tried-and-true recipes, such as chocolate chip cookies and pecan pie. Crystal even incorporates family recipes into the variety of baked goods that are offered, like her mom’s coconut custard pie.

Crystal’s loyalty to the local market hasn’t waivered since she made the transition from baking to being a businessowner. In fact, you could say Jacksonville is baked into every part of Little Black Box. Local ingredients are used in all products when possible. Even the jars and labels come from local businesses. Crystal sells her products in local retail stores, online, and at the Riverside Arts Market.

Crystal Israel

In 2022, RAM staff selected Crystal as the RAM Maker of the Year. She was chosen because of her assistance as an Administrator for the RAM Online Market during COVID-19, her willingness to share her marketing and engagement knowledge with others, and her mentorship of new vendors at the market. Crystal is a friend to all at the market, and her commitment to the local community shines through.

If you’d like to stay up-to-date with Little Black Box, be sure to check out their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Are you interested in becoming a RAM maker in 2023? Please visit the riversideartsmarket.org and review the Applications tab for access to our 2023 Vendor Interest Form and additional information. Applications will open to the public in December.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)