Change in the time of COVID.
It is with some sadness I have to tell you that I am no longer producing jams & jellies.
In the past few years I have weathered changes and challenges I never imagined and this one, in this moment, has hit me particularly hard. In the weeks before COVID19 I was negotiating a new & exciting path for Potlicker! I was negotiating a sale of the business and looking forward to the next steps. In February, when events began to cancel, I took the losses in stride, still sure that the future was bright. As closures mounted, the levels of uncertainty climbed and the new path being laid began to crack.
My next steps forward may be uncertain, but looking over my shoulder, I know I am ready to close this chapter. As such, I am selling the last of my product and moving on.
This saddens me because I know I make a great product. After 10 years in business with incredible success & making great friends, I am taking a break. I hope that my best selling & award winning flavors will be carried on in the near future, by a new Jam-parents… but the future is uncertain.
You could call this a COVID casualty, and that would not be wrong, but know that change has been coming for some time
I have cleaned out the last of my jars and fruit to restock the website one last time. Sorry Blueberry Bourbon fans, as I write this, the last jars are being purchased and there is no more available.
All product is inventory controlled on the website, once the flavor sells out it will be hidden from view. Cart level discounts will be automatically applied at 6 & 12 jars.
As I wrap up work and get ready to leave Vermont, let me share my success with you! It’s always a good feeling to end something on a high note.
I started this blog to give me a bit of purpose and fill my time on the job hunt after leaving my archaeology career. A year or so into it, I developed a bit of a canning addiction. I would stay up late at night and make jams until I ran out of fruit and then I cleared out the coffee, wine, & beer, to make jelly.
Finances were tight, I had no real job, I was still newly married, recently purchased a one room schoolhouse, and my hubs was in law school. To make ends meet I started selling things I made or grew (fruit cake, sweet potato pie, black berries, etc) and I would go to the local food shelf for basic goods. One of my more scrappy memories is scoring a large amount of coffee at the food shelf and turning it into jelly.
When I sold something, I would buy a few cases of jars and do it all over again. I boot strapped. Lots of bloggers were selling ads and I went the other direction, selling my wares
I turned that hobby into a high volume specialty canning business that doubled in size every year for the first 5 years, selling a half a million dollars worth of jam a year. At max production, we produced 5,000 jars a week.
My jams have averaged at least one award every year I’ve been in business. Awards from the National Specialty Food Association, The Good Food Guild, The Dalemain Marmalade Awards, and others.
I have worked with large retailers such as Whole Foods, Wegmans, & QVC as well as supported small businesses & co-ops. I launched on QVC with record breaking sell out time, moving almost 4000 sets of jam in 8 minutes. I have been featured in/on no less than 4 tv shows, 6 newspapers, 8 magazines, 4 radios shows, and 5 podcasts.
The first +50 stores I asked to sell my jam all said yes without hesitation. I have partnered with local producers & national companies to create flavors & private label. I have sold jam to 7 different countries around the world and shipped to all 50 states.
All of this success gave me the courage and means to start a family to grow with my business. My goal in starting Potlicker was to support us while he continued his education & became a lawyer. Goal complete, in fact, goal crushed.
Now I find that I am business for different reasons, my team changed, & I struggled to really love what I had in front of me.
As I move forward I know that all the good memories will overshadow any challenges of being a small business owner who began during the great recession and closed in the time of Covid.
Thank you for all the sweet & sticky support over the years.