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

30 Ways of How to Use Jam

One question we always always get asked is, what do you eat jam with? So apart from the obvious on toast, what else do we do with our jam? Well here is our top 30 ways of how to use jam.

1.Swirl through yoghurt

We love doing this in the kitchen at Single Variety Co. Pair any jam with a plain yoghurt - we particularly love authentic greek style yoghurt with ours.

Alphonso Mango Preserve with Yoghurt & Fruit

Alphonso Mango Preserve with Yoghurt & Fruit

2. Make eton mess meringues

For a classic flavour, use strawberry jam mixed with crushed meringues and whipped double cream.

3. Add into a Chocolate eclair

Simply open your eclair and spoon in a generous helping of jam. Also works well in a choux bun.

4. Serve with scones

For a classic cream tea, choose your favourite jam to accompany scones and clotted cream. The big question is do you put jam or cream on first?

5.Dollop on porridge

Blackcurrant jam works particularly well here.

6.Spoon on top of granola and yoghurt

Keeping on the breakfast theme, adding jam to your granola and yoghurt gives a lovely fruity twist. Our favourite granola is from our friends at Husk & Honey.

Granola & Jam

Granola & Jam

7. Roll in crepes

Once your crepes have cooked, simply spread over some jam before rolling. Adding ice cream or whipped cream here makes for a deliciously indulgent pancake.

8. Top american style pancakes

Perfect for a weekend brunch, top american pancakes with your favourite jam and thick yoghurt. This works really well with Belgian waffles too.

9. Serve with cheese and biscuits

Have you ever tried cheese and fruit jam? We love our King George Blackberry Preserve with cheese and biscuits. 

10.Smother over ice cream

Jam makes the perfect topping for vanilla ice cream. Alternatively, soften some ice cream and ripple the jam through it and freeze again before serving.

King George Blackberry Preserve Ice Cream

King George Blackberry Preserve Ice Cream

11. Top a creamy dessert

This is a really simple way to add a fruity twist to your dessert e.g. panna cotta or rice pudding. Just add a dollop of your favourite jam.

12. Enhance a cheesecake

If you're entertaining, why not create a stunning cheesecake centrepiece dessert? Spread a generous layer of jam over a New York cheesecake. We find this works best with jam with loads of whole fruit in such as Ben Starav Blackcurrant Preserve or Flair Strawberry Preserve.

13. Bake old fashioned jam tarts

Use up leftover pastry, either homemade or shop bought, by turning them into jam tarts. Line your cupcake tin with pastry then add a teaspoon of jam before baking. 

14. Mix in cocktails

Jam adds a sweet, fruity twist to a cocktail. Add a good spoonful to your favourite cocktail. We love a Maravilla Raspberry Preserve G&T. Add a spoonful of jam to gin and tonic, stir well, then strain before serving over ice.

Maravilla Raspberry Preserve Gin Cocktail

Maravilla Raspberry Preserve Gin Cocktail

15. Add to mulled wine

Stir a rich fruit jam, such as King George Blackberry, into your mulled wine this Christmas.

16. Salad dressings e.g. raspberry and balsamic, or mango, chilli and lime

The sweet fruitiness of jam balances so well with the sharp tang of a vinaigrette. Try raspberry jam with a balsamic vinaigrette, perfect with a duck salad. 

17. Freeze to make ice lollies

Mix jam with water for a fruity ice lolly. Or make a creamy frozen yoghurt ice lolly by mixing jam with plain yoghurt before freezing.

18. Sauce or glaze for meat

Warm jam and then brush over meat to glaze e.g. use Seville Orange Marmalade on a ham joint, or blackberry jam on game. For a summer recipe idea try our Mango Jerk Chicken.

19. Stir into BBQ marinades

Our favourite is Alfonso Mango Preserve stirred into a marinade and smothered over chicken before cooking.

20. Add to tiffin

Once you’ve made your tiffin, spread a good thick layer of jam, then top with a layer of chocolate before putting in the fridge to set.

Raspberry Jam Tiffin

21. Jam smoothies

Blend jam with fresh or frozen fruit for added sweet fruitiness.

22. Mix with buttercream and fill a cake

Rather than a layer of jam and buttercream, why not mix the two together before filling a sponge cake? Also use to decorate cakes and cupcakes. 

23. Milkshakes

Blend jam, vanilla ice cream and milk for an indulgent jammy milkshake. 

24. Stir into black tea to make it a fruit tea

Rather than buy fruit teas, add a spoon of jam to your black tea and strain before serving. 

25. Add to Flapjack

Mix jam into flapjack mix before baking. We used our Harbinger Rhubarb Preserve in this recipe, but it works with any jam. You can also stir jam through a sponge cake batter before baking.

26. Add to a curry

Stir mango jam into your favourite curry for a fruity hit.

27. Trifle

Use jam as the fruit base in your trifle dish.

28. Sandwich biscuits together

Jam is delicious with digestive biscuits. Why not add in a layer of buttercream to make really quick viennese style whirls?

Jam Sanwich Biscuits

29. Banana split

Caramelise sliced bananas, then top with ice cream and drizzle over some jam.

30. Straight out the jar with a spoon

This is our guilty pleasure! Sometimes you just need an instant jam fix and what better way to get it than neat out of the jar?!

Jam Preserve Spoon

I hope this list has given you some ideas and inspiration of what you can do with jam! And if you’re desparately craving some jam right now, then all our flavours can be purchased in our shop here.

Much jam love,

Kate x

We’re finally blogging!!

When Nicola first launched Single Variety Co, she made a promise to herself that she would write a blog for the website every week and share with you all her journey following all the ups and downs of running a small business. And…well…that never really happened!! Well actually that is a bit harsh. The blogs started well and she had great intentions to continue them, however these intentions were soon squashed by the overwhelming number of things she found herself needing to do single handedly to continually grow her business to be a success - from making jam and setting up a dedicated jam kitchen to getting our products to our lovely customers and everything in between. There is just an endless list of things to do when you run your own business.

Anyway we’ve learnt from this promise - to make sure we set ourselves achievable (but still stretching) targets, so the business grows but so we also stay motivated along the way! Secondly, to be open and honest with you all. We could have not shared this with you but it’s important for us to talk about the good and the bad, as we all know that life is perfectly imperfect, and we’re no exception to this. 

So two paragraphs in and you’re probably wondering either a. why is Nicola referring to herself in the third person or b. who is this person writing this blog? To clear this up, let me introduce myself to you. I’m Kate and have been friends with Nicola for around 10 years. I was very excited to join the Single Variety Co family this year after a career in the food industry followed by time out (it was definitely not time off!) to have my little boy. One of the things that I am going to be doing is writing our blog and frequently sharing with you all what’s going on at Single Variety Co. Blog writing is completely new to me, so bare with me as I learn, shape and grow this blog in the months ahead. I’m currently scouring the internet for blog inspiration and I have to say one of Nicola’s (and now mine after the recommendation) favourite blog is Lauren Aston Designs - she creates beautiful chunky knits, and whether you're a knitter / knitwear lover or not, her blogs will definitely brighten up your Wednesday when she posts them. 

The Single Variety Co team!

The Single Variety Co team!

Back to Single Variety Co, I thought it would be worthwhile sharing a quick update on what we are doing now the business is over 2 years old. Nicola is no longer having to do it all on her own, as she has Izzy (who I will introduce to you in a future blog) and myself supporting her with all things single variety jam. All the hard work is paying off and our products are now stocked in over 90 amazing independent retailers (click here to see!), and not only do we have a delicious range of single variety fruit preserves and chilli jams (here!), we also have unique seasonal flavours throughout the year so be sure to check back to see what’s new.

Alphonso Mango Preserve
IMG_6030.jpeg

If you don’t already know, our current seasonal flavour is Alphonso Mango Preserve and it won’t be around for much longer as it is selling out really fast! If you’re wondering what to eat it with, I find it goes perfectly with a thick authentic greek yoghurt, or at the minute I like to make a pudding which consists of meringue, a 50/50 mix of lightly whipped double cream and greek yoghurt, topped with fresh raspberries and generous drizzles of Alfonso Mango Preserve. It’s a real taste of summer, and with the British summer we’re having this year, it’s the perfect pud. 

That’s all from me this time, but do keep your eyes peeled for our next blog (which will actually be very soon!) with some really exciting news. 

Much jam love,

Kate