Welsh Witterings: It’s the Competitive Season Again!
It is that time of year again when all the food competitions open. I cannot believe that another year has passed and now the deadline for entering marmalade into The World’s Original Marmalade Awards is looming, meanwhile The Great British Pie Awards are open and Members Fortnight for The Great Taste Awards is drawing to a close.
Last year I scooped two awards from The Great Taste Awards, three from The World’s Original Marmalade Awards and was a Finalist in the Delicious Produce Awards with my jams, pickles and marmalades. Over the past three years my range of jams and marmalades have scooped plenty of awards and I am delighted to say that I have decided to enter the competitions again this year and I have just signed a lease on some premises, so I will be developing my range and hopefully 2019 will see my products stocked in some lovely delis and farm shops.
I’ve had great fun creating my entries for this years marmalade awards and I can’t wait to find out what the judges will make of my Drunken Lemon and Courgette Marmalade. It is a very competitive field and although I have written on the making of preserves and have been making Jam for two decades, making a viable business out of preserves has so far eluded me, so I intend to put this situation to rights in 2019. Over the past few years I have been to various trade shows and indeed at one trade show I won the best stand in show competition, but despite excellent tasting jams it is a very difficult market to break into as there are so many small and artisan preserve companies about and let’s face it there is only so much strawberry jam that a farm shop can stock. I have certainly learned a lot about scaling up recipes, branding and price margins etc., over the past few years and now it is finally time to put some of the skills I have learned into practice. It has taken me a few years to develop my brand identity and work out my range and of course I’ve only been working on this as a pet project as with a young family and living to earn it has been difficult to find any time.
I shall be continuing to produce my preserves in small batches and shall still be chopping my peel by hand and only using seasonal fruit, but I shall now be able to approach my preserving business in a more professional and organised manner and I am really rather excited about the prospect of seeing my preserves for sale. My new website is nearly ready and I have had some rather delightful labels designed. Now, I have the delights of all the red tape to get through and of course lots of finger crossing for the results of my entries in the 2019 competitions I am entering.
No doubt you will all be seeing plenty of photographs of my new range and you will be hearing more tales of my jamming soon!