Felix from Mór Taste
A first time entrant, finalist and winner in 2022 Felix from Mór Taste (The Jam People) has brought a unique perspective to his business. An experienced career in large food manufacturing as well as time spent as a food buyer coupled with a personal need for a reduced sugar jam. Passion and personal interest had been focused by research and experience has proven a successful start for this young business.
At Blas the awards are based on blind tasting, our judges review solely on the food they are tasting, they don’t know who has made it or where it is coming from. This blind element is a key part of our judging to allow a level playing field for all. However, once the judging is done we love nothing more than learning all about the producers and in many cases getting to meet new producers when they visit the awards for the first time! Just like Felix from Mór Taste
When & why did you start your business?
My doctor told me to cut back on sugar some years ago. I went back home, had a look into my pantry and I’ve seen that all the jams were more than 50% sugar. Also in supermarkets I couldn’t find anything suitable, even products labelled ‘no added sugar’ were high in sugar as they use concentrated fruit juice, other products used loads of artificial sweeteners. That was when I started looking into making low sugar jams and spreads myself, without artificial sweeteners, but with a very high actual fruit content and less sugar. I made them for many years for personal consumption without even thinking about starting a business.
Only when more and more people asked if I could sell the products to them and if I could do more varieties in 2021, I started looking into the opportunity and the category. And as I wasn’t happy anymore in my job at a large food manufacturer, I left my job and started the business.
Who is your food inspiration?
Nature and other countries and cultures. When I was younger I didn’t really care about food, it had to be cheap and edible. It was a journey to get away from ultra-processed food that’s loaded with sugar and fat, back to more natural products. But it also opened my eyes. Nature provides everything we need, we just need to appreciate what’s out there. At the same time I find it very inspiring to eat myself through other countries and see and learn how other people in other countries cook and eat.
What do you love about your job?
I really believe that the products I’m making are not only tasty but they’re also better for you as they’re so much reduced in sugar and completely natural. It makes me very proud looking at a fresh batch, knowing that these are products that I can absolutely stand behind.
But what I love most is scraping the last bits of jam out of the pot after making a fresh batch. The jam is still warm, and I don’t need to feel guilty as it’s so little sugar. It tastes sweet and tart at the same time and very fruity – it just makes me smile.
What is your typical day?
Well, there’s no typical day really as the business is relatively new. There are so many things to take care of so every day is a little different. I tend to do things that are a little more routine (such as labelling) early in the morning as I’m not a morning person and everything else later in the day.
What was your best day since you started your business?
That was when we learnt we had won the Blas na hÉireann Gold Award. I actually didn’t even want to put the products forward and take part, I thought there’s no chance we could even get into the final as I’m limiting myself so much on the recipe with the sugar reduction. My wife convinced me to try anyway and we even celebrated to be in the final. I still didn’t believe we would have any chance to win a medal, but we said we need to go to Dingle and just enjoy the time there and have a bit of fun. Hearing about the gold medal was just amazing. It means so much to us as it’s a confirmation that we’re on the right track – you don’t need a lot of sugar to make a tasty jam.
Where do your ingredients come from?
I try to use as many ingredients as possible from local suppliers. This works especially well with strawberries here in Wexford. Other fruits are simply not growing in Ireland so I have to use imported fruit, but I always try to stay as local/European as possible.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself/your business?
Accurate. Healthier. Efficient (I’m still German ;-))
What do you think is the key to success?
Research, research, research. I had made similar products for personal consumption for a long time. But before producing the first jar for sale, I spent a very long time looking into consumers, their preferences and wishes. And of course, I was looking into their taste preferences. I made loads of products that went into tastings. Limiting myself on the recipe reducing sugar, I had to make sure that a positive taste experience is still there, and I adjusted the recipe slightly. You can’t overestimate the importance of research and insights in a time when the markets are as saturated as today.
Has there been one single moment which has changed how you look at your business?
Even after starting the business, I still wasn’t sure if there’s a real opportunity for our products. I still was questioning the products and the concept, and if people would actually like and appreciate the products. But very early stage when people knocked at our door asking if they can buy some jars, I knew that people actually do like them, and that’s when I was reassured to be on the right track.
Do you also look into Sustainability with your business?
Focusing on sustainability is very difficult at early stages. But having production at home makes things a little easier. We recently installed solar panels, and the electricity generated should be enough to cover all production, what brings our products as close to 0 net emissions as possible.