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As good as Grandma's

Mable Singer didn't have a fancy business plan when she launched Mable's Taste of Home in 1993.

"It just sort of happened," she said of her West Fargo business.

Mable's Taste of Home, 2111 Main Ave. E., sells a wide range of foods, including gift packages, jalapeno products, jams, jellies, syrups, pancake mixes and sauces.

Customers often say her products taste like food made by their mother or grandmother, Singer said.

She sells directly to customers at her West Fargo location, where the food is prepared, and at craft shows across the region.

Her products are also available online and at a number of retail stores in eight states, including North Dakota and Minnesota.

Here's a sampling of her products;

* Jalapeno quail eggs, $8.50 (10 ounces)

* Raspberry-rhubarb jam, $6.25 (8 ounces)

* Mustard sauce, $5.50 (8 ounces)

* Wild chokecherry syrup, $7.95 (12 ounces).

Singer said her prices aren't the cheapest to be found.

"But I concentrate on having the best ingredients, and that shows up in my prices," she said.

She handpicks many of the berries and other ingredients, such as rhubarb.

"Some people come here specifically to buy her products," said Nancy Frid, co-owner of Fargo's Vintage Point, which carries Mable's Taste of Home merchandise.

"She really stands behind her quality," Frid said, adding that Singer's products are popular because of Singer's outgoing personality as well as the products' quality.

Singer grew up on a farm in Beulah, N.D., and helped her family cook and can.

As an adult, she helped operate a restaurant.

"The sales and cooking experience were a help when I started this business," she said.

Mable's Taste of Home has one full-time employee, in addition to Singer, and two two-part employees. Members of Singer's family sometimes help out, too.

Singer, 67, said she'll remain in business as long as she can maintain the quality of her products.

"I think you need to stay busy and have something to do," she said. "But I'll never sacrifice quality."

Contact Mable's Taste of Home

* By phone: (701) 282-4010

* By e-mail:

* By Web site: