A Season of Renewal

In the days leading up to Phase 1 of Ontario’s reopening last week,  there was a buzz of energy across businesses that have been impacted over the last couple of months. It was as if a spark had been ignited and we could finally allow ourselves to make plans with a sense of excitement, enthusiasm and optimism.

On Friday and over the weekend (in the Niagara Region), the sun was out and the weather was perfect. People on patios seemed more than just a little bit happy. Folks who were out for walks almost had a skip in their steps. It felt like a transformation occurred on June 11th, a season of renewal, the beginning of a new chapter.

At Southridge Jam, along with so many other small and medium sized businesses, this new chapter is different than the pre-pandemic chapter. If you’re like so many Ontarians, you might be wondering what that looks like.

After a season of lockdowns, slow production, a sparsely staffed kitchen, and wait-lists for new jam orders, Southridge Jam is grateful to be in a position to begin rebuilding its production and its programming. Far too many businesses across the country are not in a position to rebuild and instead, have had to shut their doors permanently.

It is with a sense of overwhelming gratitude that we will now start the work to rebuild our social enterprise.

Over the next few months, we remain as focused as ever on filling our shelves with hand-made, carefully crafted artisan jam made with Ontario fruits, increasing our number of volunteers and including more people on the margins who have experienced homelessness. We are excited but we also recognize that there are still safety measures in place that will prevent us from moving forward at full speed.

After nearly 15 months of relying on our tiny crew of jam making heroes, comprised of a few long-time volunteers and members of our Advisory Committee, it definitely feels like our season of renewal has begun. We are hopeful that in this new chapter of our story, we will continue to make a difference in little ways and maybe some bigger ways too, with your help, when you purchase our jams.

Remember, the net proceeds from our jam sales go towards programs at Southridge Shelter.

As we rebuild, Southridge Jam will be looking for the helping hands of more volunteers. We invite anyone who would like to contribute their unique skills to our purpose-driven social enterprise, to email info@southridgejam.com. We really hope to hear from you!

Well, it’s almost officially summer, the Ontario fruit we use for our jams are growing and ripening, our season of renewal has begun and we are looking forward to this next chapter!

Here’s to reopening safely (and staying open)!