Back in 2011, I redeveloped an old passion that I thought was long gone! It began in my own kitchen after I had moved to Saugatuck, Michigan. Initially, my jam and jelly making started off as a simple idea to give gifts for Christmas. I wanted to provide something truly special for my family and friends that was handcrafted. I thought with my many years of experience cooking & canning as a child with my Mom & Mimi, as well as those years as a mom, I figured this would be something in my wheelhouse. I started with some traditional family recipe jams & jellies but, I wanted to add a bit more to the gift baskets. I started developing some butters and caramel sauce, which is where the creative chef in me wanted to add a twist to recipes and add a bit or savory herb or citrus zest. This is where it all began.
The response from my family that I received was overwhelming. EVERYONE just loved their tasty treats. I was told you need to bottle and sell these yummy creations. The wheels started turning. The thought of transitioning my career during a slow economy seemed risky, but I was strongly encouraged and believed in my vision. My passion to create new selections to enjoy for every meal is apparent in the 80 different condiments. While I started the business in Saugutuck, in my tiny kitchen, I became state certified and produce my creations in a commercial kitchen. I never would have thought it would become such a grand plan.
At first, I only made the gourmet jams and jellies but, over the past couple of years I started painting cards too! While I still appreciate the comfort of my little kitchen to create something new and exciting. I do enjoy using the commercial kitchen at Crane's Pie Pantry and Restaurant in Fennville, Michigan.
My recipes have become a town favorite near and far. Locally, you can find my jams being sold at Crane's Pie Pantry Restaurant & Winery, The Farmhouse Deli, Cookies on Call, The Butler Pantry, Petter Wine Gallery, Fenn Valley Winery and the local Farmer's Market in Saugatuck, Michigan. At the Farmer's Market I feature something unique each Friday and set out sample jars for tasting with goat cheese. (returning to the market in 2021).Being at the market has allowed me to spend time talking with return customers to get feedback and ideas for new concepts. Before COVID, you could find me most weekends, sampling many varieties at The Farmhouse Deli, The Butler Pantry and at Crane's. (Projected to return in 2021).
I never would have thought a simple gift giving idea would turn out to be such an amazing adventure. Now I have customers who order my jams and jellies to send to their own family and friends as gifts all around the world.
A couple of things to note:
- I handcraft each batch with local produce as available. (my own garden for some selections during the growing season)
- I use herbs that are grown in my own garden.
Being able to share what I have made from the heart and hear that people enjoy it is such a great feeling. I look forward to what the future holds for my jammin' and painting business.