Monday, March 28, 2011

Teresa Vetter, Annapolis, MD “Tessemae’s All Natural” Dressing

Teresa Vetter is a Pilate’s instructor and the mother of 3 lacrosse players. Two of her sons play major league lacrosse for the Bayhawks and the youngest son plays for Towson.  When the boys were younger, she was always trying to prepare healthy meals for her family. Getting her boys to eat their salads was a challenge, so over the years she began enticing them with homemade dressings. Over dinner one evening in 2009, her eldest son Greg told his mother that he wanted to sell her dressing. Greg has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business. The whole family readily agreed to pursue the business venture together. “Tessemae’s All Natural” was to become a reality.

Greg took the responsibility to acquire the necessary paperwork. They formed an LLC, received an employer ID number and gained approval for a loan. To make the dressing, the Vetter’s needed a certified restaurant kitchen. The owner of Adam’s Ribs in Eastport agreed to let them use his kitchen after the restaurant closed in the evening. This worked out well with the Vetter’s busy schedule. Adam’s Ribs now even offers Tessemae’s as the house dressing.

Whole Foods at Annapolis Towne Centre was planning to open and agreed to sell their dressing. At the grand opening, the Vetter’s offered samples served over fresh spinach. Within 90 minutes, they sold out of all of their cases.

Since the beginning in 2009, “Tessemae’s All Natural” is now sold at numerous Whole Foods, has a blog site and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

The Vetter’s admit there have been obstacles along the way. One such task was to create a label and find a glass bottle manufacturer. One time the bottles did not arrive on time and they quickly had to find another manufacturer. The label didn’t fit the new bottles so another label had to be created right away. Working late into the night is exhausting, but the family appears to be very upbeat, driven and focused.

Starting a business in their hometown is a key component to their success. Teresa works in a health club. The boys have attended local schools, gone to college in Baltimore and gained wide spread recognition in lacrosse. These have all been great opportunities for socializing and networking.

Since I was working on this project, I felt I had better purchase a bottle for myself. I found it in the chilled section of the produce department. The label was interesting and printed with Teresa’s story and I liked how the lid was sealed with wax. So far, I have tried the dressing over salad as well as with grilled asparagus. It’s delicious.  There are also some interesting recipes for chicken and rockfish.

I enjoyed researching the history of “Tessemae’s All Natural”. It’s a “feel good” and “taste good” story. I wish the Vetter’s much success.

Submitted by: Jane Gilleland


Sauers, Elisha. “Annapolis Sons Take Mom’s Salad Dressing to Grocery Store”. 
      Capital (Annapolis) 2 June 2009. Hometown Annapolis. Web. 22 March 2011.



  1. I think it is a great story about talented entrepreneurs’ family.
    I like the idea that they started healthy food business because there is a big need in this type of food in the modern society. Also it is impressive that they work till late night after the end of the work day- That is mean to be real entrepreneur, be persistent and do what you desire to do. I wish Teresa’s family good luck in the business ventures!

  2. This bio reminds me of a quote by Harvey MacKay: "Find something you love to do, and you never have to work a day in your life."
    It seems like her talent comes so naturally. Creativity with salad dressings transformed from a mother's cooking method to a nationally recognized business.