Sell Homemade Jams and Jellies at Your Local Market

Texas treats are blissful to eat and profitable to sell. Here's how you can sell homemade jams at jellies.

| September/October 2010

Sidebars:Hot Pepper Jelly Recipe Recipe for Chowchow 
Recipe for Peach Cobbler in a Jar Raspberry Jam Recipe Prickly Pear Jelly Recipe Agave Sweetened Blueberry Jam Recipe Agave Sweetened Fig Jam Recipe Traditional Fig Jam Recipe 

Americans are hungry for quality, homemade goods, and people with a passion for cooking are filling that flavorful niche. Treats such as Meaner’n a Snake Pickles, Hot Pepper Jelly and Cobbler in a Jar, previously served only at the kitchen table, are now big sellers at market days, farmers’ markets and even craft sales. And part of this new culinary experience, which actually harks back to the way humans have shopped for millennia, includes time spent negotiating in lively vendor-buyer interactions. Learn how to sell homemade jams and jellies at your local market, and it might just turn into a profitable little business. 

Deep in the heart of Texas

Don and Marsha Bales of San Antonio decided four years ago to test their local niche. They put 10 dozen jars of homemade goodies – cobbler in a jar, grape jelly, and strawberry and peach jam – into their van and set up a booth at Wimberley Market Days in Wimberley, Texas. The Bales’ fresh-tasting jams and jellies were an immediate hit.

As their part-time hobby grew into a full-time business, they expanded their menu and number of venues. Today, their brochure lists 31 items including old favorites like their pepper jellies and other intriguing treats with names like Cowboy Candy and Mesquite Bean Jelly.

At the same time, the Bales added several additional market day events to their schedule. Committed to face-to-face sales at regional shows, the couple’s goods are available through their roving sales booth, in spite of inventory requests from commercial establishments, and they now offer shipping through their website. Repeat customers use e-mail to request specific flavors at future shows. 

Find your flavor

Don and Marsha suggest entrepreneurs start with established recipes and carefully use life experiences to create winning flavors. Hot Pepper Jelly is by far their best-seller. The pepper taste hits different parts of the palate, and the flavors take a couple of minutes to come through. The couple uses a mix of jalapeño, Anaheim, serrano, habanero and bell peppers. Another pepper jelly, Raspberry Arbol, is the couple’s second-highest selling product.

8/27/2010 11:21:13 AM

Unfortunately Agave Nectar is NOT a good alternative for diabetics. While it doesn't raise blood sugar, it does attack the liver. Erythritol is a much better alternative.

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