Jam at Borough Market…Top 10 Tips for Running a Market Stall

This week we started selling our fruit preserves and chilli jams at Borough Market for the next 3 weeks in the run up to Christmas. When Borough Market invited us to have a stall there this Christmas, we were completely honoured to get the opportunity to sell our products here.

Food markets are where Nicola first sold Single Variety Co jams and preserves, and over the last two years she has built up a wealth of experience of running a market stall. So, I decided to pick her brains and discover her top tips for running a market stall to share with you in this week’s blog.

 Nicola laughing Single Variety Co at Borough Market

Nicola laughing Single Variety Co at Borough Market

 1.    Plan your logistics

Market stalls, particularly in London, are usually difficult to get really close to, especially in a car / van, so make sure you know where to park, how you’re going to transport everything to your stall. We would recommend getting a trolley for this. For Borough Market we are using a really big suitcase!

single variety co at borough market

2.    Think about how the stall will look for the customer

Having an inviting and enticing display will really help attract customers to your stall. Make it really easy for them to identify your brand and products. Check your stall throughout the day to ensure it stays looking how you want it to.

3.    Give yourself more time to set up than you think you need

We still find that setting up a stall always takes longer than we think so plan in extra time to set up. You don’t want a market opening and you’re not ready to sell. 

4.    Draw customers in

You want to get as many people to your stand as possible, so think about how you’re going to draw them in. Talk to customers as well as thinking about offers and tasters.

single variety co promotion

 5.    Have a special offer

You may want to have a special offer at your market stall to attract customers in. Try a few out and see which works best for you. Display your offer really clearly for customers to see.

jam taster samples

6.    Have samples to taste

The best way to sell food is to let customers taste how amazing your product is. We always have tasters available and encourage customers to try our products. Make sure you’re fully prepared for tasting and think about how customers will taste it. For example, we use crackers to sample our jams with. Routinely check the stall to keep it clean and clear of rubbish, and that samples are topped up. 

Izettle payment

7.    Make payment easy

We would recommend having a card machine available as increasingly customers will not have any cash on them. We use Izettle. For cash payments, remember to bring lots of change with you. 

8.    Plan for the weather

It sounds obvious but wrap up really warm in the winter! And if it gets really hot and you need to keep your products cool, make plans for this too.

9.    Befriend your neighbours

Being at a market alone all day can be really difficult when you need a break, so make friends with other stall holders so you can cover each other’s stand. 

 10.  Find the right market for you

And finally, not every market will be right for your product or brand. There are a lot of food markets out there, so we would suggest spending the time to find the right one for you.

If you’re in London, we’ll be at Borough Market every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday until Christmas, so pop by to get your jam for Christmas. 

Much jam love,

Kate x

Christmas Gift Boxes

My Christmas countdown officially started last week in our blog about our Limited Edition Orange Habanero Chilli Jam. So now it’s less than 4 weeks to go until Christmas I think it is appropriate to keep on with the Christmas theme with our Christmas gift boxes.

We have two gift boxes available this Christmas – a chilli jam gift box and a fruit preserve gift box - each containing a selection of three of our delicious products. We hope that you agree with us that they look beautiful and make the perfect gift for the food lover in your life. But they definitely don’t start out that way! 

All of our gift boxes arrive to us flat in components with the base, insert and lid all arriving separately ready to be made up. So, we have been busy little elves in the kitchen recently folding, filling, lidding and finally labelling the boxes. 

making gift boxes

And we’ve made up so many gift boxes this year that we’ve used every space in the kitchen to store them and get them ready to send out to you all!

If, like me, you have yet to start your Christmas shopping then our gift boxes are available to buy on our website. Or if you are at the Good Food Show at the NEC in Birmingham this weekend then come and find us at stand H10.

 

Much jam love,

Kate x

Limited Edition Orange Habanero Chilli Jam

With less than 5 weeks to go until Christmas, everyone is frantically launching their seasonal specials and we are no exception. Today we launch our Limited Edition Orange Habanero Chilli Jam (or Chillimas Jam if you’re hot on puns like we are!).

So why Orange Habanero Chilli Jam? Well we’re always on the search for great tasting varieties of chillies to have in the range and when we tasted the orange habanero chillies in our kitchen we immediately knew they would be really popular with our chilli lovers. Like the lemon drop chillies, they are super hot but also packed full of flavour. 

The orange habanero, meaning “someone or something from La Havana”, originates from the Amazonas region and over time spread up to Mexico. They have a unique, citrusy flavour, and traditionally popular in hot sauces and salsas, so we felt they would work perfectly in a chilli jam.

Orange Habaneros

So off we went to the kitchen to develop the jam and try some recipes ideas too. The fantastic heat of this chilli jam makes it the perfect winter warmer whether it’s stirred through soup, served with cooked meat or added to a festive cheeseboard this Christmas.  

We think it either makes the perfect stocking filler for a spice-lover or a warming treat for yourself, so give it a try and tell us what you think. It is available to buy now on our website and once it’s gone it’s gone, so make sure you don’t miss out!

 

Much jam love,

Kate x

Top 10 Tips for Making Jam

When developing our range of jams and preserves, we have found that there are a lot of things to consider if you want to make the most delicious jam. So, for those of you wanting to get into the kitchen to make your own jam, I thought I would share our top 10 tips to help you along the way. 

 

1.    Fruit

There’s an almost endless choice of fruit available for jam making. Selecting good quality, tasty fruit will give you the best flavour for your jam. Seasonal fruit is often chosen for this reason. 

blackberries

2.    Sugar

A traditional jam recipe usually has equal amounts of fruit and sugar; however, you can play around with this like we have done where we use a lower amount of sugar in our recipes. There are various types of sugar you can use. Jam sugar has pectin added in, so we prefer to use granulated sugar and add pectin separately as you need different amounts of pectin depending on the fruit. Most importantly make sure the sugar has dissolved before boiling your jam otherwise it won’t set!

 

3.    Pectin

Occurring naturally in fruit, pectin makes jam set. Some fruits have low levels of pectin and so adding pectin will help get the set you desire for your jam. Read our What is Pectin? blog to find out more.

 

4.    Lemon juice

Lemon juice adds both flavour and acidity to jam, and so having the right amount in your recipe will give a tasty balance with your fruit. A lot of commercial jams use citric acid as it’s cheaper, but we believe that lemon juice gives the very best flavour so that’s what we use.

juicing lemons

5.    Small quantities

We’re strong believers in small batch sizes so don’t feel tempted to make too large a quantity of jam in one pan. Smaller quantities will come to the boil quicker, keep your fruit whole and allow you to cook for a shorter time.

 

6.    Cook times

The shorter time you can cook your jam for, the fresher, fruitier flavour you’ll achieve. Small quantities and levels of pectin both contribute to being able to cook your jam for a shorter time giving you a better jam.

 

7.    Setting test

Each jam will take a different length of time to cook depending on the fruit you use. To know that it’s ready to pour, it’s best to regularly check the setting point once your jam is boiling.  

8.    Skim the scum

A scum will often form in your pan but don’t worry it is just trapped air and can easily be removed. Once you have the set you want, and you’ve finished cooking your jam, you can skim the scum with a ladle before pouring your jam into jars. 

cooking raspberry jam

9.    Sterilise your jars

You don’t want to spoil your jam at the final hurdle, so make sure your jars are nice and clean. Wash your jars in hot, soapy water and then pop them in the oven for 30 minutes to dry and sterilise.

jam jars

10.  Leave to cool before enjoying!

It’s really tempting to dig straight into your jam but leaving to cool allows the jam to fully set. Don’t worry this doesn’t take too long, so by the following day you’ll be able to enjoy your jam.

 

Happy jamming!

If you’d prefer someone to do the hard work for you, our full range of jams and preserves are available here.

 

Much jam love,

Kate x