Michigan—its residents pride themselves on their Great Lakes, pristine natural beauty, and automobile history, as well as its unique food items. While some Michigan based companies, like Faygo, Kellogg's, and Better Made, are well known among other states, there are some products not even Michiganders are aware of but should be. Below are 7 of the best Michigan-made food products you didn't know existed.

1. Dave's Sweet Tooth Toffee

Dave was a retired Detroit firefighter with a famous toffee recipe loved by friends and family. His son, Drew, took this recipe and has created a business out of it. Coming in flavors like vanilla, peanut butter, chocolate, coffee, and even seasonal ones like pumpkin spice and cranberry pecan, real sugar, butter, and hand sliced almonds make up the base of each. It can be found in various stores, such as Kroger and Whole Foods, and is even sold in the University of Michigan's on-campus convenience stores. Don't live in Michigan? Don't worry—it's sold in places as far as Seattle, Atlanta, and New York City, and it ships nationwide. You can even get free shipping on Amazon Prime!

2. Mindo Chocolate

Located in Dexter, Michigan, Mindo Chocolate Makers focus on the "bean-to-bar" process. Only the Nacional variety is used harvested in Mindo, Ecuador, and the cocoa nibs and beans are shipped to Dexter, where the rest of the process takes place. It's not a fast one, but the product sure is worth it. Pure bars are sold in 67%, 77%, and 87% intensities, but flavored bars like Michigan cherry, macadamia, and candied orange zest are available, too. If you want to try your hand in some chocolate creations, their nibs and beans, cocoa powder, and drinking chocolate are also for sale.

3. Detroit Bold Coffee

AJ's Music Cafe in Ferndale, Michigan, was the birthplace of Detroit Bold Coffee Co. While the cafe no longer exists, AJ O'Neil runs this coffee production business to support the developing city of Detroit—the proceeds help fund local coffee shops and other businesses. The Colombian bean/espresso blend is sold in Meijer stores across the Midwest, and you can even get it in K-Cup form for your convenience.

Spoon Tip: buy their Forgotten Harvest blend to help feed the hungry in Southeast Michigan.

4. Velvet Peanut Butter

Velvet has been a long-time classic since 1937. Though it went off the shelves in 1984, it returned in 2009 to the sheer delight of many. Rich and creamy, it is nostalgic for many Michigan residents (my mom included). It can be found in various grocery stores within the state, and it's now available for purchase on Amazon. If you're a peanut butter lover like me, give this one a try —10% of their annual profit goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, so there's really no better way to get your fill of this nut butter than with Velvet.

5. Great Lakes Potato Chips

This company sources nearly all of its potatoes from Michigan, and leaves the skin on in the process, delivering a flavor different from typical "naked" potato chips. Crafted in small batches, they offer classic flavors like original, salt & vinegar, and barbeque, but the more unique ones are what draws me to them—parmesan ranch, Michigan cherry barbeque, buffalo wing, and sea salt, pepper & onion are creative and delicious. Find them in stores in the six surrounding Great Lakes states or order from their website. Fun Fact: they were named the #1 Kettle Chip by the Chicago Tribune.

6. Cherry Republic Products

Cherry Republic has stores around Michigan, including Frankenmuth, Ann Arbor, and Traverse City. Focused on Michigan's famous fruit, their products incorporate it into jams, salsas, trail mixes, chocolates, and even mustard. Of course, you can also pick up a bag of the dried fruit itself. Amp up your appetizer spread with their hot cherry salsa, bring sweet heat to your next barbeque with cherry BBQ sauce, or sweeten your mornings with their cherry pancake/waffle mix or cherry chocolate granola. Feeling fancy? Grab some cherry wine for your next ladies night.

7. McClure's Pickles

Two brothers who grew up making pickles with their great grandmother's recipe every year in Michigan decided to try their hand at making a family business out of it, with one brother in Brooklyn, NY, and one in Detroit. All manufacturing is now done in Michigan, but their products can be found in nearly every state, including California, Florida, and New York. The standard pickle varieties are available, as well as relish and sauerkraut. Snag some of their kettle chips for snacking (garlic dill pickle, spicy pickle, and Bloody Mary flavors) and secure some of their Bloody Mary mix for your next brunch gathering.

While these are all fantastic and delicious, they are just a few of the incredible products Michigan has to offer. Some brands have gone national, some only to the Midwest, and some are still breaking out of their local shell, but all are quality and deserve some love. Michiganders take pride in their state and love to keep things local when they can. So next time you stumble upon one of these products, pick some up and know you're getting a real sense of Michigan pride with every bite.