The JamBusters Preserves story

It’s true this site is predominantly about success stories of Enterprizes in Canada’s South East. But, occasionally I see something outside the South East which grabs my attention. JamBusters preserves story fits into that category.

Last month I was traveling in British Columbia when I came across the first ever Chamber Vendors market in Princeton. Of course, it’s can still be pretty cool in February, so the Market was conducted indoors, and being the first, there were a small but select group of vendors present.

Brenda Co-Founder JamBusters Preserves
Brenda Engel

The stall that caught my eye was JamBusters. Run by Brenda and George, JamBusters sell a range of preserves which they bottle themselves.

I paused at their tasting table, and Brenda opened a jar of Cherry jelly.It not only took me back to Springtime but transported me to a springtime of my youth. To a time when my late Grandma was canning and bottling the surplus produce from her Garden.

I later learned that Brenda grew up on a farm, with a large and very productive garden, much like my Gran’s. She too spent many an afternoon in the kitchen, preserving all of that fresh produce for use during the Winter months.

Whilst small, they are committed to the products they sell. Brenda puts her soul into perfecting JamBusters preserves recipes and prepares much of the product herself.

Along with the Cherry preserve, JamBusters offer a range of hot sauces, pickles, relish, jellies and jams, all pure and chemical free.

Brenda has a happy knack of blending sweet with hot or spicy, to produce layered flavors that you don’t expect. I certainly don’t find flavors like these in commercial products on my supermarket shelves.

George Elliott Co-Founder Jambusters Preserves
George Elliott

I was a little late to arrive at the market, so I was still there when pack down time arrived. Leaving  George to pack up, I managed to lure Brenda away for a casual Interview. I wanted to learn more about the fledgling JamBusters preserves story.

Started by Accident

Over a well-earned coffee, Brenda told me that the whole thing started by accident. After her Rhubarb patch was raided by a local opportunist, she decided it would not happen again. Brenda explained that she and George sometimes did not even bother to harvest their crop. That said, on principle alone, they vowed that no-one would get to the Rhubarb next year.

So in spring, 2014 the crop was harvested. After some experimentation, it transformed into something called a Gingered-Citrus Rhubarb Jam. When that jam became a hit within her local Community, Brenda tried her hand selling it at local farmers market. She was encouraged to see how popular homemade goods had become.

Before long, Brenda found a market for her unique combination of flavors. Then when her hot sauces won the top two prizes at the yearly Pepper Festival, she decided it was time to get to work.

George came up with the JamBuster name, and a new brand was created.

After gaining appropriate certification Brenda started selling her products from a storefront in Princeton, British Columbia, (where husband George was then the owner and editor of the local newspaper), as well as through the various markets in the region.

JamBuster Preserves-For dogs?

Surprisingly, reflecting the growth in vegan lifestyles, Brenda seemed almost as excited about a new range of healthy, vegan dog treats. The first is their BlueBerry Banana Biscotti, which you can actually share with your four-legged friend if you so chose.

I must admit that I was taken by the Hellish Relish. George describes its flavor as having a “Boomerang Effect”. One where the initial burst of heat is quickly moderated by soothing Pear. Then the heat boomerangs right back to assault your taste buds with a double whammy. If you like it hot you are going to love JamBuster’s Hellish Relish.

As George has now sold the newspaper, it will be interesting to see what this creative couple can do with their unique brand. Don’t be surprised if a few years from now this range is in a store near you, and JamBusters has become another Canadian Enterprise Success story.

For more information about this unique and emerging range visit Jambusters.Ca and watch for them at a farmers market near you.

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