Photo from Bilberry Jams and Jellies

Photo from Bilberry Jams and Jellies

When did you start at the market?

Becky: We began making jams in 2012, where we sold at the Bank Street Winter Market.
Rick: 2013 was our first year at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market, but in 2012 Becky went to five local markets throughout the week.    

Do your kids work on the jams too?

B: We have nine children, ages five through twenty. There are a lot of jobs that go into our business, so there is something for every age. The older ones can work the booth on their own if we can't make it, and the younger ones can help pick and wash fruit, label jars, and more. Every Saturday one of the kids comes with us to market- we hope to instill a desire to work for themselves one day, too.

Describe your business in one sentence.

B: We like to provide a quality product that people can afford and enjoy.

Where do you source your fruit?

B: Most of it actually comes from vendors at the market. We like to buy locally because we are all supporting each other and our community, and people really do like to know where their food comes from. Everyday when someone asks where the peaches or strawberries are from, we make sure to tell them the name of the vendor and point out where they are located at the market. 

R: About 90-95% of our fruit is local. Some fruit like pineapple, banana, and coconut can't be found locally, so we have to buy those from stores. We currently have 47 flavors in stock, but have over 60 different recipes that we make.

What's your favorite flavor?

B: Peach Almond
R: anything tart
Emma: Orange Vanilla

What's another vendor that you frequent at the market and what do you buy?

B: Java Jones has amazing coffee, we get our laundry soap from Showertreat Soaps, and a lot of our veggies comes from Crisp Country Acres, J & S Farms, and Green Gardens. We often give friends and family gifts from the market as well. 

I know Gypsy Kitchen uses your jams in some of their cookies. Is anyone else using them in their products?

R: Better than Cake, Crepes by the Lakes, and the Bakewell Co. all use our jams.

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What's a surprising fact about your business?

B: The thumbprint cookies that we sell are all made by the kids. If they want to go to camp, they have to work for it! We also reuse the jam jars, and give $.50 when you return them.

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