This week’s local food producer interview is with Janet Peachey who runs Peacheys Preserves, One of Norfolks finest local jam makers producing a variety of artisan jams, jellies, preserves and winner of two Bronze Awards at the 2011 Marmalade Awards.
Peachey’s Preserves is based near Diss in South Norfolk and the company has been going for ten years producing delicious and intriguing jams, chutneys and, most recently, her own line of fruit liqueurs!
What gave you the idea to start a business making jams & preserves?
I’ve had a business in the past with my ex-partner. When we split I was in the hairdressers one day and read an article in Country Living about a lady who made jellies in the West Country which she sold at Farmer’s Markets.
I’ve always had fruit in the garden and I knew how to do it (my mum makes jam) so I thought turn my hand to it too. That idea came to me in September 2004, by December 2004 I was up and running and I had a range of three jams!
The idea came very quickly and I had the necessary skills to put it into action.
My first trading opportunity was at Diss Farmer’s Market and the Bungay Christmas Market.
You also make Fruit Liqueurs – how did that start?
One year I was fed up of making quince jelly so I thought if I could make fruit liqueur so I made quince brandy!
I let it stand for a year, starting testing it on people when it was good and ripe and it made a good drink. So I thought I could do that as well.
Its taken several years to get off the ground because there is a lot of licensing to get in place, its slightly more complicated than selling jam!
Currently I’ve got eight varieties for sale but there are about fifteen liqueurs in total because some are seasonal. I do blackberry and apple rum, chilli vodka, damson vodka, raspberry gin, strawberry gin and I’m just developing a blackcurrant brandy.
What makes your jams different from the big name brands?
All the fruits are grown either by myself, my parents or by a network of people from their gardens. So its a small commercial organisation.
The fruit is all very local and very fresh – so that’s one difference – I also make it in small batches using a traditional method and my own recipes.
Although I make traditional jams I do have some quirky recipes. The packaging and labels are all handmade so its a very different product from a big, commercial producer’s jam or preserve.
What has been the most challenging part of running the business?
The most challenging part has been getting the sales side of things together as its quite a competitive market.
There are also practical problems to manage, because of the glass jars the online sales are quite difficult – they are fragile and quite bulky.
Everything else I’ve managed to keep quite straightforward, but this bit still causes a few headaches!
Strawberry or Raspberry?
Strawberry and vanilla!
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