Jennifer Williams from the New Forest has had a passion for food for as long as she can remember. Her culinary enthusiasm was shared by her mother, who worked as a cook for Colonel Bromage OBE preparing fabulous dishes for his elite guests.
Keen to continue the tradition, Jennifer trained as a chef following a varied career that saw her work as a Stage Manager for the Bolshoi Ballet.
Jennifer always enjoyed foraging and making delicious jams and marmalades, and it was her late sister who suggested that she should start her own business, putting all her experience and recipes into action.
Eleven years have now passed since Jennifer founded Naked Jam, and started supplying a range of artisan jams, marmalades, and chutneys made from ethically sourced natural ingredients. All made with no additives, just the bare ingredients involved.
“My natural jam business snowballed rather quickly. I discovered I was a supertaster when working with Bear Grylls. This led me to being a judge for the International Taste Institute, Maltese Culinary Society, and various other groups. Then luxury hotels started approaching me and I now supply many top central London hotels. To excuse the pun, my business spread itself without me doing a lot of marketing.”
But it has not all been easy, and Jennifer is thankful for the support that GetSet Solent has provided.
“During the pandemic, the hospitality industry crashed, and this became a hugely challenging time for us. We raised funds to open a small cookery school to allow me to offer online workshops. This is now an integral part of our offering and GetSet Solent is helping us develop our business strategy to increase our resilience and manage our growth more sustainably. They’re also connecting me with further funding opportunities and are helping me through the process.”
Jennifer was delighted to exhibit the range of Naked Jams at the recent GetSet Solent Connect Expo. She said that this was a great opportunity to get out there, gain knowledge and network with other local businesses.
It is onwards and upwards for Jennifer as she plans to expand her cookery courses and is working with ferry operators to offer local food tours and cooking demonstrations over the coming months. Customers can also look forward to the introduction of new jams and marmalades.
Discover what jam should taste like and visit the Naked Jam website.