This post is part of our Meet the Artisan series highlighting local food artisans, their products and their production processes.
Product photo credit: Ashley Savoy.
A food artisan is a person who uses non-industrialized methods of food production, usually by hand and in small batches to create a high-quality food product. This series seeks to focus on those individuals, highlighting their story, their passion and their products.
For those who aren't familiar, can you tell us about your company?
Grinningjupiter Jammery is a jam and preserve canning artisan company.
When did you start your company and why?
I've been prepping and canning since 2010, and I'm a small-batch producer. It all started with the joy of gathering the ingredients to make something my grandmother made for me as a kid. It was as simple as taking a walk with my mom around her farm picking blackberries. I take pride in trusting the ingredients that go into my jams. I source from the wild, my backyard and local vendors.
Once the flame was relit for canning and sourcing local flavors, I was hooked. It was a slow and purposeful process to make the decision to turn my passion into a business. I've always wanted to work for myself and here was my opportunity.
Was there something or someone who inspired you to become a food artisan?
The inspiration was all around me. My grandmothers canned but much more than that, they cooked with amazing local flavors. Their ease and knowledge of the meals they created were passed down along with their passion and a few coveted recipes.
In today's busy world, the art of cooking and preparing a meal can get lost. Today, a food artisan welcomes the slower and more pure process of producing food.
Do you have a special approach or method to producing your product?
My approach to production is simply... keep it simple and local. All my batches are small batch. There is no step of the process that isn't completed by me. From wild picking to juicing, all of it is done with a taste and quality in mind.
In the beginning, it all happened in my home kitchen, but now I have moved to a dedicated kitchen -- a 1964 converted Avion Camper my husband and brother remodeled for me. The space is not only a kitchen but a reminder that growth is good and self-inspiring.
What's the most challenging part of being a food artisan?
For me, the most challenging aspect of a being a food artisan is deciding on your level of business growth. Do you stay small or do you try to have your business grow into something larger? I'm happy with my business staying small batch and at the farmers market at the moment. In the future, I may change my mind, but that's for the future to know.
What's the most rewarding part of being a food artisan?
The most rewarding part of being a food artisan is taking pride in my products and working for myself. I truly love the self-motivation it takes to stay the course to be self-disciplined and self-employed.
What advice do you have for someone who's thinking about becoming a food artisan?
My advice for someone considering becoming a food artisan is to do it. It may seem daunting at first but just let it be fun and exciting. It can start small and grow through time. Have conviction in your product, the production and the gathering of its ingredients. Be the only judge of your level of success. Remember that it's a journey and it should be fun and overwhelming.
You can find Grinningjupiter's Jams locally at both Red Stick Spice locations and online at the Grinningjupiter Etsy Shop. And you can follow along with Grinningjupiter on Facebook.
Do you have a favorite local artisan? Let us know in the comments!