How did you come up with the idea to found The Jam Stand?
Well, we - my fiend Jessica and I - started The Jam Stand about 10 or 12 years ago. We went to college together, so we've known each other since we were 19. It kind of started out as a hobby. We always liked to cook and bake and do fun things together. One afternoon we thought: Hey, let's learn how to make some jam. And as we started to play around with things and figure stuff out we realized that every time we would make a jam that had something unique or different or special in it, people really gravitated towards that. So then we started to sign up for farmers markets and we built a website and from there we kind of organically just kept selling more and more. And now we are selling to a lot of independent cheese shops for example - and of course to The Cloud One New York-Downtown!
How do invent your flavors?
A lot of the inspiration comes from various places. So our Raspberry-Jalapeno, which is one of our best sellers, actually came to us through our friend from college. She used to be my old roommate and when we first started the company, we had made a few different jams and she placed an order on our website for Raspberry-Jalapeño jam. And we were like: But that's not an option. Why would you do that? And so we tested her suggestion and it's become super popular. Our Blueberry-Bourbon was an inspiration from a coffee cake that I once tried in San Francisco. So we just like to find fun things and then sort of experiment.
How long does it take approximately from an idea for a jam to the finished product?
I would say we are pretty fast. Probably the shortest we could do is probably four weeks. The longest we've seen something take: three or four months. It depends on whether you're really nitpicky about what sugar or how much sugar to use, what spices …
By the way: Did you have a combination in mind, that sounded good on paper, but then tasted… well, not so good.
Oh yes. I don't know if you would necessarily call it a jam or a chutney. But at one point I made something which was a mix of pineapple with cilantro – which sounds good in theory, at least if you like cilantro, but it was very NOT good.
Do you have a personal favorite?
My favorite is the Blueberry-Bourbon version - maybe because I am a bourbon drinker myself. But I find it to be delightful and really great with yogurt and for PBJ-sandwiches.
Something special to check out on your website: you offer some inspiration for recipes with your jams.
Yeah, I think that's part of us making all these unique flavors. Often people ask us: What can I do with this? How do I use this?
And so over the years, we’ve learned that we want to give people some fun ideas, so we've come up with some recipes. Like for example: our jams are very cheese compatible. They go very well with most cheeses - especially the Raspberry-Jalapeño or Fig-Tamarind!
Do you use special kind of ingredients?
We try to source most of the fruit locally whenever possible. But depending on the time of year or type it might come frozen from last year's harvest or something like that. But we stay domestic and local for sure.
Can you already tell us about the future, any new ideas or flavors?
So aside from jam with we're testing the waters with honey and peanut butter. Just last November we launched a few new flavors: A Red Pepper Jelly, an Orange Marmalade and a Strawberry-Jalapeño. The strawberry flavour sort of came about as a coincidence. As we were talking about earlier, concerning the choice of ingredients: Lately the raspberries have been very hard to get and they've been very expensive. So we've tested some recipes with strawberries instead of raspberry.
In general we try every season to launch something new, for example every year we come up with two or three new fun, limited editions. I don't know yet where 2023 will take us, but we'll see.
You are very creative – not only with your flavors: you also do individual jams for special occasions or as party favours, you have had extremely creative cooperations with ice cream companies or Spotify …
We love to take on special projects. We love to do things that are fun and unique. And so, in the past, we've created wedding favors for 300 guests or we've done custom gift boxes for holidays. We did do a jam for a Spotify event, but also we've done an ice cream collaboration. We're always open to trying something fun and unique.
Could we commission an exclusive The Cloud One flavour?
Absolutely, we could come up with a jam that makes you feel like you're on a cloud. We are up for it!