UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center
Aunt Christy's Country Kitchen

Can-Do, Creative Canner Cooks Up Unique Jellies

Aunt Christy's Country Kitchen

Aunt Christy’s Country Kitchen
Christy Bean | Independence, MO | Microenterprise

A few years back, Christy Bean lost her job and needed something to fill her time while she looked for work—so she started filling jars. She made jelly out of her purple basil plant. She made jellies out of wine and beer. She experimented with other unique flavors, forced her friends to try it and they liked it. Out of adversity came entrepreneurship and Aunt Christy’s Country Kitchen was born.

Below she shares her story—and a little incentive to get you to take a taste of her vegan and gluten-free jams, jellies and chutneys. Entrepreneurship never tasted so good.

What key challenge did you have to overcome as you started your business?

My own fear of selling and putting myself out there. I learned that quality products sell themselves, but it still takes all my effort to market my products to people, even though I know they are delicious.

Who helped you along the way?

Made in KC, Handmade in Kansas City, 1 Million Cups

Why do you do business in KC?

I love the foodie crowd…they are my bread and butter in this community. And Kansas City is just the right size for my business.

What makes Kansas City a great place to start and grow a business?

Great resources that cost little to no money for newbie entrepreneurs—like Made In KC, the Ennovation Center, KCSourceLink and 1 Million Cups—and a really comprehensive network of local entrepreneurs who support each other in their endeavors.

What flavor do you add to KC? 

Innovation and originality in jelly. I am an urban food entrepreneur who, after losing her job, taught herself to can and is not afraid to experiment with some off the beaten path ingredients to create amazingly tasty artisan jams, jellies and chutneys.

I am a quirky, creative maverick, that comes up with jam and jelly combinations that you would not necessarily think of. For instance, I make jelly out of basil and spices, and I know that you won't find that in many places.

Why is it important to shop local?

Shopping local means helping Kansas City and surrounding areas to become more sustainable and self-supportive. 

Connect with the Can-Do Canner

Follow or friend on . . .

And then email . . .

How can we help you?

Our team helps grow entrepreneurship in Kansas City every day.

Connect with us!

Get insights, inspiration and events to help you start, grow and accelerate KC businesses.