Village of the Jammed

Katrina has her mind set on ‘scaling up’, and it’s starting to make me uncomfortable. I mean, we’re a small jam business, not a Silicon Valley startup. It’s great that she’s taking financial growth seriously; I just don’t know if we’re equipped to bring in more people at this point. Where are going to put them? I mean, our commercial premises currently consist of Katrina’s garage.

She has this whole plan mapped out, and it involves getting investors on board, a social media strategy and a new space. Of course, doing all this will mean throwing a whole bunch of cash at things like digital marketing consultants and commercial office design. Melbourne jam consumers, are your sweet spreading habits strong enough to support us in doing this? And will you stick with us if we stop being certifiably homemade? Will we lose our edge?

You see, the thing about the jam business is that people seem to like it better and trust it more if it’s sold from a little trestle table, preferably alongside some crochet-covered coat hangers and potpourri bags. There probably is a market for fancier products, like cardamom and rose petal marmalade that costs $14, and I sense that’s what Katrina wants to move into. If that’s the case, it makes a bit more sense than going down the supermarket path, which doesn’t interest me at all.

I just don’t know if she realises the cost of high-end commercial fitouts. Melbourne isn’t the cheapest city in the world for real estate, and then there’s the completely new kitchen rig we’ll be needing. That said, it would be nice to have a bit more work space and more hands on deck. Of course, there’d be more pressure and less room for experimentation, but it might be worth it if I was convinced that we were still putting out a top-notch product.  

So, Melbourne, I ask you this: what’s your dream condiment? Suggestions taken for jams, chutneys and preserves of all kinds. Help get me inspired to go big.