Hope Lives Here

Hope (/hōp/) noun
The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

If you have seen one of our jars or purchased one of our jam products over the last year, you will have seen our little “great jam for a greater cause” tag and may already know a little bit about our story.

Our social enterprise was launched in 2015 with the intent to support individuals who had recently transitioned out of homelessness.  We wanted to create a space where they could move forward into their new lives with a new set of skills and a support structure.

Over the years, individuals who have participated in our program have gone on to be gainfully employed and some have stayed on as volunteers, assisting with the jam making process.

Although our job skills program has been on hold for almost a year now, hope definitely still lives here.

Last year, we ran out of space in our freezer and started looking for a large freezer solution. We considered many options and had many disappointments before someone suggested St. David’s Cold Storage.

We called and asked for their rates but their owner had heard about the work we are doing and instead, generously donated storage space to us. Their generosity means we will be able to store more Ontario fruit in 2021 and have enough for our entire production season (and hopefully beyond).

In the Fall of 2020, Stop 14 Home Decor (one of our retail partners), came up with an idea to help support Southridge Shelter. They were planning to open their brand new store in the middle of September and decided to donate $1 from each jar of Southridge jam sold at their store. By the end of the year, they had sold 306 jars.

This year, an empty kitchen meant that our program director and production lead had the opportunity to test and prepare production equipment that we purchased using a 2020 grant from the Wise Guys Charity. The majority of that equipment is tested now and ready to go!

We are so incredibly hopeful and grateful for these new partnerships and all the support we have received and continue to receive from our community.

Hope lives in every single jar of our strawberry, sour cherry, peach jam and grape jelly. Hope lives in the retailers who sell our jams.

Hope lives in each of our volunteers who staff almost every role we have, in our community partners and we hope, in you, when you purchase our jams.

We thank you for all your support and for helping us to spread hope with jam.

Wishing you more of that hope to take you through the rest of this year and happiness always from Southridge Jam!