A Season of Possibilities
Our jam kitchen is located in Vineland, Ontario and had you visited us on a Wednesday before March 2020, you would have seen a diverse team of sometimes more than 10 people all working together. You would have heard the sounds of chatter and laughter. You would have smelled the sweet fruity fragrance of jam being made in small batches.
Our team of program participants and community volunteers would get together once a week to make a batch of either strawberry, sour cherry, peach jam or grape jelly. Some weeks, they made two batches. Everyone had a special role to play in the jam production process and everyone was busy.
Fast forward a year, so much has happened and so much has changed with our organization. We missed our regular annual season kick-off in January 2021 but now that Niagara Region is back in the red zone, we are so excited to kick off another new season of jam making.
On Wednesdays, there will still be chatter and laughter, there will still be sweet fruity fragrances wafting through the building. Everyone still has a special role to play and everyone will still be busy this year.
Our jam making team has been much smaller since the pandemic began. Most weeks we have had a team of three or four volunteers. We have been depending on folks who have either been volunteering with us for years or learned to make jam just so they could help.
This year, our team of labeling volunteers, which sometimes includes jam makers, will continue to hand label each jar of our artisan jam.
Our two sales/customer service volunteers will continue to focus on engaging with our existing retailers and looking at new retail opportunities. Last year, with their help, we expanded our jam sales to over twenty new retail partners.
We also have volunteers for special projects, social media, our website and sometimes even delivery.
All of these good people will keep us going again this year because season 6 is focused on possibilities.
It is absolutely possible that everyone will be vaccinated relatively soon, that we will be able to restart our job skills program and ultimately have our larger team together some time in the coming months.
It is definitely possible that you will see our jams in more stores throughout Ontario. So far this year, we are now available in Beamsville, Creemore, Crystal Beach, Merrickville and Smith Falls.
As we focus on rebuilding inventory and selling more jam, we understand that we will likely need to tweak and re-tweak our plans as the year evolves but everyone who is affiliated with Southridge Jam is hoping that the possibilities will be endless.
Will the possibilities include a new flavour later this year?
Wishing you happy possibilities in 2021 from our Southridge Jam team!