At Jack’s and Steamers Coffee shop we have been making jams and jellies for about 4 years now. Jenni is in charge of production and works with the employees along with the job coaches to get the whole process done, from processing the fruit to cooking it, canning it, labeling it, and selling it. We sell our jam, jelly and pie fillings at our coffee shop, online, and at farmers markets and holiday markets. Meet Sara, one of our employees who makes jam and sells it at the farmers markets. Below are some of Sara’s memories and thoughts about making jam at Steamers.
I’ve been working at Steamers for maybe two years. I like working here, my favorite part about my job is making jams. I like working with Jenni. My favorite kind of jam to eat is the strawberry champagne. My favorite kind of jam to make is raspberry. I like everything about making jam. There’s nothing I don’t like about it. My favorite part about making jams is going to the markets. We sell our jams at the farmers market. We went to the mall to sell jam at Pottery Barn and we go to the Arvada center. We go there around Christmas for the Christmas market. I helped set up and talked to customers. I get to talk to people and help them decide what kind of jam they want to buy. My favorite part about selling jam is helping Jenni make change and giving people their money.
The first thing we do when we make jam is get the fruit. We pour the fruit into a pot. Then we cook the fruit and stir it. When the fruit is cooking we add sugar and pectin. I have to stir the jam for a long time, like maybe for an hour. When the jam is cooked we put it in jars. We take the jars out of the hot water with the tongs. I dump the hot water out of the jars. I use a funnel and then scoop the jam into the jars. I watch the jars to make sure they don’t get too full. After the jars are full I put the lids on. The jars need labels too. I write my name on the labels for the lids.
I work hard with Jenni to make the jam taste good for customers. I feel happy and proud of my job of making jam. It’s special to me and I love it. I want to keep cooking jam and selling at markets with Jenni for a long time.
Danielle, who heads up the employment program at Jack’s and Steamers, shared one of her favorite memories about making jam with Sara and Jenni…
In September of 2012 I recall working with Sara as we processed green chili peppers for our green chile jam. Jenni purchased around ten very large bags of chiles fresh from the chile roaster, so they were hot! We hauled them into our kitchen where we opened the bags resulting in an overwhelming smell of smoky charred chiles. Sara, Jenni and I worked quickly to portion the peppers into gallon zip-lock bags. We froze the chiles to be later be used to make our green chile jam. I remember Sara being so happy, chattering away to Jenni and myself about how many peppers there were. I also recall one of our cooks angrily pacing the kitchen wondering where we were going to store all of the peppers… There were peppers everywhere!
What is your favorite jam Sara makes? Have you ever made jam? Interested in learning how? We are thinking of having jam making classes with Sara and her co-workers. Let us know if you would be interested!