Sticky Spoons Jam, LLC wins MSU Product Center’s 2024 Best Barrier Buster Award

MSU Extension

MSU Product Center
Aiye Akhigbe, Owner and Flavor Creator of Sticky Spoons Jam, LLC
Each year the Michigan State University Product Center recognizes a client business for eliminating barriers to entrepreneurial success at the local, regional, or state level. Barriers related to financing, policy, labor, distribution, marketing, technology, and more are all considered. This year’s award was granted to Sticky Spoons Jam, LLC, based in Niles, Michigan, which specializes in jams, jellies, and preserves made in small batches from local, Michigan fruit farms.

Over the past year, Aiye Akhigbe, owner of Sticky Spoons Jam, LLC built a commercial kitchen on their family property and secured a license from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Previously, the business operated under the Michigan Cottage Food Law. Demand for their products was strong and they were interested in selling wholesale. She and her husband decided to take the leap to use personal funds, pitch competition winnings, and secure financing to build their commercial kitchen. This expansion seems to be paying off as their 2023 sales were four times larger than sales in 2022.

Mollie Woods, director of the MSU Product Center commented, “Sticky Spoons Jam, LLC is a great example of how the Michigan Cottage Food Law can be used to launch a business to prove your concept and build your customer base so the business can start from a strong position as a licensed food business with many retailers interested in carrying products. Congratulations to Aiye and her team for building their own production space, securing licensing, and doing an outstanding job of marketing their products.”

When asked about receiving the award, Akhigbe commented, “This award is due in part to the support Sticky Spoons receives from the Michigan State University Product Center. As a client, the advice and services provided informed our plan to scale from Cottage Food production to a licensed kitchen. This in turn has allowed us to move from selling one-on-one to having our products available on various store shelves. We are thankful to receive the MSU Product Center’s Best Barrier Buster Award, and look forward to continuing our work with local farmers, and Michigan-based suppliers and distributors.”

Sticky Spoons Jam, LLC is a veteran-owned, woman-owned, and Black-owned business. You can purchase Sticky Spoons Jam, LLC products on their website at You can also find their products at many Southwest Michigan retail outlets. For a complete list, visit:

Be sure to follow Sticky Spoons on Facebook and Instagram.

To learn more about Sticky Spoons Jam, LLC, be sure to watch this video produced by Michigan State University.

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan State University Product Center assist entrepreneurs and businesses in developing products and services in the food and agriculture markets. Its team of experts consults with clients on a one-on-one basis, helping new entrepreneurs navigate from concept development to launch and beyond. The MSU Product Center also offers specialized services such as labeling, packaging, and nutritional analysis. If you are interested in business counseling from the MSU Product Center, please visit our website.

This story was originally published by MSU Extension.


About the MSU Innovation Center: 

The MSU Innovation Center is dedicated to fostering innovation, research commercialization, and entrepreneurial activities from the research and discovery happening across our campus every day. We act as the primary interface for researchers aiming to see their research applied to solving real-world problems and making the world a better place to live. We aim to empower faculty, researchers, and students within our community of scholars by providing them with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to bring their discoveries to the forefront. Through strategic collaborations with the private sector, we aim to amplify the impact of faculty research and drive economic growth while positively impacting society. We foster mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with the private sector through corporate-sponsored research collaborations, technology licensing discussions, and support for faculty entrepreneurs to support the establishment of startup companies.   

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