Berry delicious enterprise

Published 5:00am 14 September 2023

Berry delicious enterprise
Words by Jodie Powell

What began as a way of using strawberries that would otherwise have gone to waste has quickly burgeoned into a thriving business with a delectable range of jams and preserves.

Joyous Jams owner Sarah Carmichael started the business with strawberry jams in May last year, using the secret family recipe gifted to her by her mother-in-law.

She’d been making jams for the shop on the family’s farm, Strawberry Fields, but when husband David’s parents decided to put the business on the market and retire, she found herself with surplus products to sell.

Secret recipe

Berry delicious enterprise

“To curb waste on the farm, David’s mother took his grandmother’s recipe and then sold the jam on the farm.

“She divulged the secret family recipe to me and we were selling 48 jars every day or so and I was making jam every day to keep up with demand - at the height of strawberry season we would have 5000 people visit the farm each day.

“When it was quieter I was still making jam every day to put away for peak season.

“Then David’s parents decided to sell, so I started selling the jam at markets.”

Not long after, Sarah and David visited a Meet the Makers event to catch up with local growers who had become friends – and it was there that they cooked up the idea for Joyous Jams.

“David informed me we would be back the next year as sellers,” Sarah laughs.

“It was really my husband’s encouragement that set me on my jam journey.”

Locally grown

Sarah sources as much produce as possible from local growers, including Ashbern Farms, which is owned by her brother-in-law.

The availability of local produce has seen Sarah expand her range to include strawberries paired with lime, banana, passionfruit and shiraz, as well as rosella jam, pineapple and ginger jam and marmalades.

“We get pineapples and tomatoes locally and we try to use the seconds that can’t be sold commercially to give it them a second life as jams or preserves.’’

Joy in a jar

Berry delicious enterprise

The business name reflects Sarah’s passion for sharing her products with others.

“It gave me such joy that David’s mum shared her secret recipe with me, and it gives me joy to make it and for people to enjoy it.”

“Our slogan is ‘Just like Grandma made it’ – the jams can be quite chunky sometimes.

“I do love the original strawberry the best, but for something different I love the strawberry and lime, which is a little bit tart.

“For usefulness I can’t go past the plum jam – it’s a great marinade for chicken wings.

“And I use my tomato chilli relish on everything.”

Where to find them

Joyous Jams are produced in small batches, with Sarah making about 30 jars in various sizes each day.

“We offer retail, wholesale and bulk quantities, with 110ml, 300ml and litre jars,” she explains.

Sarah and David – who makes all the Joyous Jams labels – can be found at markets anywhere from Caloundra to Brisbane, with the handcrafted wares also for sale at I Wet My Plants at Alderley and the Beach Shak Café at Beachmere.

Joyous Jams are also available online, with subscriptions delivering three products a month.

Click here to find out more and order online.

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