As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’ll be working with a jar distributor this year – and I’m happy to announce that that distributor is none other than Fillmore Container! Today, I’m excited to be reviewing and giving away some smooth-sided canning jars courtesy of Fillmore Container, which I’ll be using for both my business and for my own home canning projects. Head over to my food blog, Sugarcrafter, to check it out. I’m also guest posting over on the Fillmore Container blog with a recipe for raspberry white chocolate mousse in jars. Hope you enjoy it!
Hello there! I hope you’ve all been keeping warm and cozy now that we’re heavy into the winter season. Although things have been a little quiet around these parts lately, there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes here at Sugarcrafter Sweets. Today, I’m thrilled to make several announcements.
As a first-year business owner last year, I had a wonderful time. From developing new recipes to forming relationships with some amazing local farmers, to attending farmers markets and meeting so many friendly people from around the area, it was a lot of fun. I also learned a lot, not only about what my customers want, but also about where I want to see my business go in the future. As I’ve mentioned before, what is most important to me is handcrafting preserves in small batches with what is seasonally and available from local farmers. As such, one of my biggest challenges last year was keeping up with production, since I always tried to have multiple types of preserves available with every fruit possible. If you visited my website last year and saw the list of products I used to offer, you could see why that would be a daunting task, with over 90 jams, jellies, marmalades, and fruit butters, and new varieties being added all the time.
As I continued to review my experiences, I realized that by the end of the year, I was headed in a direction that I don’t want to continue going. I don’t want to end up essentially being the grocery store at the farmers market, mass-producing every type of jam possible only with local fruit and selling jars made a year ago. I want my jams to always be handcrafted in small batches, each batch fresh and slightly different, artisanal and delightfully prepared with each fruit at its peak of ripeness. I want them to be reflective of the seasons – if one year we have a bursting strawberry crop but it’s impossible to find apricots, I want to make preserves with those gorgeous strawberries – and wait until apricots are bountiful again, rather than seek them out when they aren’t at their best. I want to be able to artfully listen to each preserve I make and add exactly what it needs to shine, whether herbs, spices, spirits, or simply other fruits, and create something that is beautiful and unique every time. And most of all, I want my customers to open each jar with anticipation, and to savor each taste with appreciation of the bounty of fruit grown in their own neighborhood, skillfully preserved for them to have a reminder of sunshine and summer on a dreary winter’s day.
It’s in the spirit of those reflections that I’ve made several changes to the direction of my business. First, I have changed my tagline from “homemade jellies, jams and delights” to “handcrafted confitures,” which you can see on my website header and product labels, and which I believe will more accurately capture the philosophy of what I do. In addition, I have an all-new Products page. No longer do I have a list of 90+ preserves; instead, I have a select list of offerings available: year-round offerings that include your very favorites from last year, as well as new, seasonal offerings that will be available for a limited time and that I expect to change frequently, even within the season they are offered. By focusing on a much smaller collection of products, I hope to be able to more closely listen to what each season brings and therefore deliver an even higher quality of product to you.
In addition, the jars themselves will soon be looking much spiffier as well. As of this year, I am now working with a jar distributor who will be supplying me with smooth-sided jars. My labels, which could previously become wrinkled on jars that had raised designs on the glass, will now lie flat and look much more crisp and pristine.
I have also teamed up with PayPal this season, so now there are no worries if you spent your last ten dollars on those heirloom tomatoes and cage-free eggs that you just couldn’t resist! I’m very excited that I am now set up to accept credit card payments at markets and events.
Last but not least, you may have also noticed that I removed the few recipes I had previously posted. That’s because I have created an all-new Recipes page for them, which I’m tying in with my food blog, Sugarcrafter. I’ve taken all of my favorite recipes that I love to pair with jam or that use jam as an ingredient, and I’ve linked to them all in one place…in addition, I’ve also linked to similar recipes from some of my food blogging friends. I plan to keep this page updated frequently, and I would love to feature your recipes as well, so please feel free to share them!
I appreciate you sticking around for this long post – I hope you enjoy the changes I’m making to better focus my business on what I feel matters most. And, as always, thank you for your continued support. As I dive into production and get ready for the upcoming year, keep an eye on my Where to Find Me page to see where I’ll be – I’m already looking forward to another amazing year of creating beautiful preserves for you!
Just a reminder that the Mendon Holiday Farmers Market begins this Saturday! Come on out between 10am and 2pm and enjoy a soup & sandwich lunch right at Cibi with a cup of coffee, tea, wine, or beer...then, shop the farmers market for all your holiday entertaining and gift giving. These few Saturdays before Christmas are perfect for getting all of your holiday shopping done – don’t forget to stock up on your favorite jams & jellies for the long winter ahead as well! The market is held indoors at Cibi, so be sure to stop by to pick up your holiday orders…we’ll also have ready-to-wrap holiday trio boxes, baking mixes, and more!
Introducing my newest creation, Christmas jam! A lovely blend of cherries, cranberries, pineapple, rum, and spices makes this jam perfect for the holiday season. It’s wonderful with fresh biscuits hot from the oven!
Also, if you didn’t get a chance to come out and see us at the Honeoye Falls-Mendon Chamber of Commerce Holiday Fair last week, not to worry! Even though the summer farmers markets have ended, the Mendon Holiday Farmers Market will be starting soon. It’ll be held the first three Saturdays before Christmas: December 1st, 8th, and 15th from 10am – 2pm, perfect timing for you to finish all of your holiday shopping and to stock up on our local handcrafted jams & jellies for the cold winter ahead. The holiday market is held indoors at Cibi at 3894 Rush Mendon Road Mendon, NY 14506. See you there!
We’ll be at the Honeoye Falls-Mendon Chamber of Commerce Holiday Fair on Tuesday, November 6th from 5-8pm at the Rabbit Room! The Rabbit Room is located at 61 North Main St, Honeoye Falls at The Lower Mill. Come out and see us, and pick up some of our ready-to-wrap holiday trio boxes, baking mixes, and more. You can place your holiday orders at the fair as well…or, if you’d like to fill out an order form beforehand and drop it off, just shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send one your way.
Holiday orders can be picked up at the Mendon Holiday Farmers Market, held the first three Saturdays before Christmas: Saturday December 1st, 8th, and 15th, from 10am – 2pm. The holiday market is held indoors at Cibi at 3894 Rush Mendon Road Mendon, NY 14506. Stop by and shop local for the holidays!
Hope you’ve been enjoying this lovely autumn we’ve been having! From the cool, crisp days to apple & pumpkin season to all of the beautiful leaves changing color, it’s always a wonderful time of year in upstate NY. We have a lot going on around here at Sugarcrafter Sweets, too! As you may already know if you follow us on Facebook, we were one of the many vendors at The Purple Painted Lady Barn Sale & Junk Jubilee, which was held on the last Saturday in September. We had a fabulous time!
We also sold a LOT of jams, jellies, preserves and marmalades…which, while a very good thing (and we can’t thank you enough!), has made it so that we are unable to continue attending two farmers markets during the month of October due to the increased production time needed to keep up with holiday orders. As such, we will no longer be attending the Chili market on Saturdays – however, you can continue to find us at the Mendon market on Tuesdays through October 30th when the market ends. In addition, we plan to attend the Mendon Holiday Market in December, which will be held the three Saturdays before Christmas: Saturday December 1st, 8th, and 15th, from 10am – 2pm.
Just some of our holiday offerings include:
- Pint-sized jars (double the size of our regular jars) of cranberry sauce for your Thanksgiving and Holiday dinners – made with whole cranberries, and as with the rest of our jams, absolutely NO high fructose corn syrup or preservatives!
- Customizable holiday gift baskets, which contain six (8-ounce) jars that are decorated with festive holiday fabric and placed in a wrapped gift basket decorated with ribbon. Basket size and preserves are customizable upon request.
- Ready-to-wrap holiday trio boxes, which contain three (8-ounce) jars that are decorated with festive holiday fabric and placed in a ready-to-wrap box for your holiday gift-giving. Customizable upon request.
- Other non-preserved gifts in jars, including homemade hot cocoa and baking mixes.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us - we’d love to build the perfect gift for you!
Apple season has begun! This means that we’ll soon have plenty of freshly-made apple products, including Caramel Apple Jam, Apple Black Currant Jam, Apple Cider Jelly made with fresh, local apple cider, more Apple Maple Butter, and Brandied Apple Preserves. Be sure to check out our stand at the Chili farmers market on Saturdays from 8am – 1pm and the Mendon farmers market on Tuesdays from 4pm – 7pm.
Also, since the summer farmers markets end in October and we know that you’re already thinking ahead to the holiday season, don’t forget that we do gifts! We can customize them according to your needs, so please don’t hesitate to contact us and we can build the perfect holiday gifts for you!
Finally, because apple picking is such a popular activity this time of year, a note to apple pickers: Like the rest of the fruit grown here in Rochester, there will be a lighter crop this year due to the early hot weather we had back in March, which brought the trees out of dormancy, followed by those freezing nights in April that killed many buds and blossoms on the trees. Because of this, you’ll find shorter periods of availability for certain varieties – so please make sure to check with your favorite local apple farms to find out when they’re picking your favorites. Happy picking and enjoy the season!