The Kelle B Jammin’ Story
Sometimes the greatest blessings arise from happy accidents. If you’d asked me 10 years ago, if I’d have a small business making gourmet jams, I would have laughed with the absurdity of the idea! But here, in my seventh year of jamming, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing back a time-honored tradition that is deeply a part of my history. As I strap on my apron and get out the pots for a day of jamming, I channel the experience and knowledge of the women in my family.
I’ve always had a love for cooking, but the hard labor of canning seemed a bit too daunting for me, until I received an invitation from a close friend to come to her home to make some apricot preserves. As I stood over the bubbling pot of jam a deep connect to the women of my family came bubbling up.
I was born and raised in West Texas and every year, during summer break, my family would pack up and head down to McLennan County to visit family, where upon our arrival, was a summer feast prepared lovingly by Grandma Lillian. The table bowed with such delights as dill pickles, squash casserole, corn on the cob, green beans, thickly sliced tomatoes, pickled okra, chowchow and homemade vanilla ice cream with pickled peaches for desert!
In making that apricot jam in my friend’s kitchen, I was able to connect to the memory of Grandma Lillian and all the women who had preserved, “put up,” and canned for their families. I’d found a link to my past and a path to my new-found passion.
Beginning at first in very small batches, I made family classics like pear honey, apple butter, and strawberry jam. I found great fulfillment out of selling a few to friends here and there, but soon my creativity took over and I began crafting different flavor combinations coming up with something altogether unique. Flavors such as Peach Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean, Strawberry Balsamic, Orange Pineapple Marmalade, Peach Sriracha, Cherry Chipotle Balsamic, and Blackberry Jalapeno began to stock my shelves. And at the insistence of others, I decided to take my jams to the local farmer’s market, often selling out within the first few hours.
Now that I have been able to utilize the resources of a commercial kitchen, I am honored to count among my customers both Texas vintners, and specialty food and gift shops, all helping to spread the word about Kelle B Jammin’. I can craft my handmade jams and sell not only my unique flavors enhanced with my twist on tradition, but the nostalgia that jam awakens in so many.
There’s a simple formula to my jam: wholesome, all natural ingredients that are gluten-free with no artificial preservatives. Reconnecting to the past, in the fast-paced world of today, there’s no rushing jam. The best part of this Texas treasure is the process, the methodical rhythm and routine, that extracts the best from the fruit, where the flavors are always strong and true. I hope you will take your time and enjoy my jam on a hot buttered biscuit or even just a spoonful as a treat. And in the spirit of jamming, I hope you will enjoy this product in the company of friends and family.