Marinara winner has background in food, plans to publish

Debbie Postma, winner of this year’s Heirloom Tomato Festival Marinara Sauce contest, said she is in the process of publishing her first cook book to share her culinary skills with others. Postma was the first prize winner in the contest which had over a dozen delicious entries. Chef Glen Forge of Red’s said Postma’s sauce came in an amazing 40 points overall in the contest that was judged on flavor and freshness.

Postma grew up in restaurants and knew as a little girl what she wanted for her future career. She bought the Depot Cafe in Marne, Mich., and during her years there remodeled the restaurant and added an “all you can eat” Friday night fish fry. “I built a huge breakfast and lunch business as well,” she stated. “I earned many first-place blue ribbons for the famous pies made daily.”

Later Postma sold her business and moved to Saugatuck and opned the Gourmet Garden where she served panini sandwhiches, homemade soups from scratch and lattes and smoothies. That business developed into a full gourmet shop and delicatessen. “We specialized in artisian food and gifts. I later married, sold the business and moved back home to Rockford.”

Postma is in the process of her next culinary adventure, publishing her cookbooks. Her first book will include the recipe for the marinara sauce that won her a $100 gift certificate to Reds on the River, sponsor of the Tomato Festival, along with organic recipes made in Michigan. Postma will be marketing her book while traveling with her family and business partner and invites those interested to email or

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.

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