The Jam Stand started as a hobby that turned into a joke, before finally growing into a brand.
Jessica Quon and Sabrina Valle were business school friends at the University of Florida. After their respective graduations in 2007 and 2008, they took jobs in New York– Quon at a non-profit and Valle at Macy’s.
When she quit her job in the summer of 2010 to travel, Valle stumbled upon a farmer’s market in Patagonia and became interested in making jam. After she returned to the city and made her first jar of peach jam with Quon, it quickly became a hobby they shared.
“We kept playing around with different flavors and it turned into a joke about having a jam stand,” Valle said.
Ultimately, they decided to take a gamble on themselves and put their business knowledge to use by starting their own company; the Jam Stand was born in February 2011.
Quon and Valle started at local markets in Brooklyn and were pleasantly surprised by all the small food companies ready to help. That camaraderie between the food producers and the response of the consumers, Valle said, is why Brooklyn works for businesses like theirs.
“Our product is pricey compared to large retailers like Smucker’s,” Valle said. “The community understands what we’re doing and doesn’t mind spending extra money on a product like ours.”
The Jam Stand offers eclectic flavors like raspberry jalapeno and blueberry bourbon, and uses locally grown, seasonal ingredients.
“You want your profession to be something you care about,” Quon said. “To be able to cook and be creative, we found something we both love to do and it became our baby.”