Founded by Nicole Larson, the Delicacies Jewelry brand has provided the first-ever full line of jewellery for Epicureans and food lovers that gives back - a portion of every sale is given to hunger-related charities chosen by their notable chef partners.
They transform ingredients into wearable keepsake jewellery, handcrafted in 14kt gold and accented with diamonds. We chat to Nicole Larson about her fascinating story and how her jewellery is helping fight hunger.
How did Delicacies Jewelry begin?
“In late 2013, I was struck with dengue fever, living in Mexico. While sick and feverish, I “awoke” to a vision of a bracelet featuring a single, tiny, gleaming garlic bulb on my wrist. As soon as I recovered, I set out to create that tiny bracelet I had seen so clearly on my wrist. It took three years to put a proper team into place, but with the help of my mentor and guide, a godsend of a friend who had worked in the jewellery industry for 40+ years (my mentor, Mike), I was able to create the line of jewellery that is Delicacies today.”
How has your childhood influenced your designs?
"I grew up in the Midwest where food really was love. Pancakes in the morning, Christmas cookies during the holidays, blueberry pies on special nights and freshly-caught-then-pan-fried fish: all these things were more than just food, they were tradition and sentimental. Delicacies Jewelry celebrates food and its place in our life and we, too, believe strongly that food is love. Our pieces feature whole, simple ingredients, like garlic, pineapple, chili peppers, eggs, and many, many more.”
"For every piece of jewellery sold, we donate a percentage of proceeds to hunger-related organisations."
Values are hugely important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values?
“More than anything else, I believe that every human being deserves the right to eat. And at Delicacies Jewelry, we have generosity “baked in” to our brand. For every piece of jewellery sold, we donate a percentage of proceeds to hunger-related organisations. We choose well-known chefs and food personalities to help us identify the hunger-related organisations that we donate to.”
Where do you create your best work?
“I live in Merida, on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and am from St. Paul, Minnesota (where our Delicacies offices are based). Creatively, I flourish in Mexico, where the colours seem brighter, food tastes better, and life just seems more vibrant and raw. On the other hand, I also love the quiet cosiness of the Delicacies office in St. Paul, Minnesota, where we fulfil all our customer orders. Living in two cultures truly is the best of both worlds!”
"One client gifted an onion bracelet to her daughter after she lost her son, her sentiment behind the gift being “life is like an onion, sometimes it makes you cry.”"
Do you have any special client stories?
“I love our client stories because they are so profound and deeply personal. One client gifted an onion bracelet to her daughter after she lost her son, her sentiment behind the gift being “life is like an onion, sometimes it makes you cry.” Another client bought the 14K gold tomato pendant for his wife after she lost her father (her father was an award-winning tomato grower who planted 60+ tomato plants every year!) I gifted the wheat pendant to my cousin when we lost our grandmother, because she talked about the lefse and krumkake she made with her every Christmas in the beautiful eulogy she gave for our grandmother. These are just a few of the meaningful stories behind our ingredients and it reinforces my opinion that food IS love.”
How do you want someone to feel when they wear your jewellery?
“I want Delicacies Jewelry to remind our clients of something or someone special, as certain meals or ingredients remind us of special places or times in our lives. At Delicacies, we believe there is nothing more special than sharing a homecooked meal with loved ones. Food brings us together.”
What does jewellery mean to you?
“For me, jewellery is that “spark” that lets your personality shine through daily. It allows you to express yourself without ever opening your mouth. It can either speak to timelessness or be ‘of the moment,’ trendy. It is what you are feeling and it changes with your moods. It allows you to wear sentimentality. There may be very few pieces of jewellery a person wears every day, every hour of their lives — but those pieces do exist. There is no other sort of attire or accessories like this, so in a way, jewellery is an integral part of who we are.”
"Because regardless of race, age, income or nationality, everybody deserves the right to eat."
What’s been the highest point of your career so far?
“Twofold: seeing my jewellery for the first time as wearable accessories, and having my jewellery featured in the Food section of the New York Times the week before Valentine’s Day!”
What are your future goals for Delicacies Jewelry?
“Starting this brand has been a very long and arduous journey, but (most days, anyways!) it has been so well worth it. I’ve always wanted to make a difference in the world - and these days especially, making a difference seems imperative. I want my daughter to grow up knowing that she can personally affect change in the world if she puts her mind to it. So, my goal is to sell as much ingredient-driven jewellery as possible, so we can donate loads of money to hunger-related organisations to help defeat hunger and food insecurity. Because regardless of race, age, income or nationality, everybody deserves the right to eat.”