Lawyer-turned-canner to open Preserving Place on the Westside

Store will offer preserving and fermenting classes and locally made gifts
Martha McMillin

Courtesy of Green Olive Media

Shortly after Cardamom Hill’s Asha Gomez opened the Third Space in Studioplex, another cooking class space is set to open late this summer—this one in the Westside Provisions District. Called Preserving Place, it will be fashioned in the style of traditional general stores and function as both a place Atlantans can purchase canned and fermented goods like chutneys, relishes, and jams, as well as learn how to make baby food, cheese, jam, fermented food, relish, and more.

Owner Martha McMillin recently left her law job to bring the knowledge and experience she gained growing up on her family’s farm in Spartanburg, S.C., to the local community. McMillin was inspired by her mother, who she calls a “great Southern home cook.” She created Preserving Place to honor the familial food heritage while supporting local farmers.

“I grew up in the country and felt a call to do this,” she says. “I did canning demonstrations at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market last year. I had so many people stop by and express interest and learning how to can, I just wanted to create a place where customers can count on getting good, safe, reliable advice.”

Preserving Place will sell gifts made by local craftsmen, such as wooden recipe boxes, Charleston sea grass baskets, and letterpress canning tags. It will also offer a curated selection of cookbooks and cooking and canning supplies.

For those who need instruction, McMillin will host canning classes about four times a week. Each class will be limited to eight to twelve guests and cost $90 to $100. During the class, participants will prepare two to three jars of food to take home, using whatever fruits are in season. Sampling is encouraged. For those who just need a place to can, Preserving Place will host canning parties, providing all of the necessary ingredients and equipment.

Located at 1170 Howell Mill Road, Preserving Place will feature raised wood paneling, dark weathered countertops, Charleston Blue paint, a communal table, and an expansive teaching kitchen.