4 minutes read
Food is more about using your guts and instincts apart from choosing techniques & methods. You could follow a recipe religiously still not get the desired results but following your gut helps you stir that magic into food. There are many who believe in putting their soul to what they cook or made. One such female entrepreneur is Apeksha Jain who has done exactly the same with her startup The Gourmet Jar. The company offers a range of premium preserves & condiments, in unique flavor combinations, that are handmade in small batches, using all-natural ingredients and no preservatives or additives. The Gourmet Jar competes with international brands like Bonne Maman, Dana, and Hartley’s, and Bhuira Jams on the domestic front. Started in 2012, The Gourmet Jar offers unique delicacies like Banana Rum Jam, Mango Jalapeno Preserve, Spicy Onion Relish, Orange Whiskey Marmalade, Smoked Aubergine Relish, Orange Mustard and many more exotic flavors with which one is sure to be spoilt for choice. Moreover, who doesn’t love to have a freshly made jam!
#Inpired by France’s Artisanal Jams
The Gourmet Jar is the brainchild of Apeksha Jain who has completed her graduation from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi. That was time she began learning French, a language she loved so much she decided to make a career out of it. It was in 2009 when Apeksha was living in Paris with her husband and during their stay she discovered a whole new world of artisanal jams that were poles apart from she used to have in India. Apeksha had a lot of free time and that was the time when blogging was the new thing to do. So she jumped on that bandwagon, and as time went on, she delved deeper into the food world. The banana jam was something the couple first tasted at a small orchard in Burgundy. After moving back to Delhi, her husband mentioned several times how he wished they could get something like that in India. Being passionate about cooking and experimenting, Apeksha thought that it can’t be that hard to make a Banana Jam, so she got down to trying out her hand at making jams, and it worked really well.
Eventually the word spread once family and friends started tasting them, and seeing a huge gap in the Indian market when it came to quality jams and preserves, she decided to start her own line of jams and preserves with an initial investment of Rs. 2 lakhs and so The Gourmet Jar was born in April 2012.
#the so good Gourmet Jar
In 2012 Apeksha started from home and sold her products through Facebook. It was only in June 2014 that she started selling extensively and the business moved out of her house. “The response from the beginning has been fantastic, and I think what our customers really love is our unique flavor combinations and the purity of our ingredients,” she said. Apeksha adds new flavors every six months, while also phasing out the flavors that didn’t get a good response. When coming up with a recipe, she first starts with the core fruit, conceptualizes the kind of end product she wants (jam, relish, chutney, or savory spread) and then does trials with different flavor combinations. She said, “The first one to try all of these is my husband! I then send samples to friends, family, and regular customers, and use their feedback to zero in on the best one. The recipes I use are most definitely my own creation.” The desire to innovate keeps her on her toes, along with the instant gratification on people’s faces when they sample her products.
One of the biggest challenges feels Apeksha is making people understand why a jar of handmade jam with no preservatives and pure fruit is more expensive than a regular one on the store shelves. For this, she decided to provide samples so that the jam can be tasted. She believed that as soon as someone samples the jams, they realize how different it is compared to others. In order to create public awareness Apeksha used to post content on her Facebook Page about what all can be done with a Jam Jar or different ways of eating Jams. In a country so diverse like India which is still into traditional breakfast and snacking options, something like The Gourmet Jar with its exotic jams can find it hard to look for a place on the dining table. Nevertheless, things are changing and with high optimism Apeksha said, “People are even starting to use my jams with Indian food. I’ve had customers who’ve spread Mulled Wine jam on a khakra, and eaten my Mango Jalapeno Jam with rotis”.
#Growth and the Road ahead
Over the past couple of years, The Gourmet Jar has sold more than three lakh jars through three sales channels —website, distributor to retail stores, and institutional packaging to hotels and restaurants. The company currently retails from modern trade outlets and premium general stores across India. Their products are sold online through their own portal, as well as on Amazon and Big basket. One can also find The Gourmet Jar products served in some of the top hotel chains across the country. Currently operating out of Noida, the brand has produced more than 200,000 jars with an all women production team. The team is looking to launch new products, to increase percentage of sales from the e-commerce channel and gifting space, and to enter the global market. Also the company is planning to move forward with some interesting collaborations with related brands.
So what are you waiting for? Dig into that Jar of happiness right away!
For more details go to www.thegourmetjar.com