Jackie & Richie from Skellig Jam are driving their young business on with an eye on consistent high standards and a strong work ethic. The reward for them is when a customer shares how their family enjoys it and it has made the journey from their production kitchen in Ballinskelligs to someone’s kitchen table.
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 just like Skellig Jam
When & why did you start your business?
We started the business in August 2020. We had been making jam in our spare time for our Bed and Breakfast. Richie was working away from home only coming home at weekends and during lock down we decided that it was time for him to come home full time. We decided to start Skellig Jam initially for Richie to have a full time job in Kerry. Jackie started to help out later on in the year and loved it so much we decided to take the plunge and close the B & B so that we could both concentrate on the business full time.
Who is your food inspiration?
As a child Richie used to spend his summer holidays visiting his grandparents farm in Wexford. He loved nothing more than to watch his grandmother making her homemade jams and marmalades and always had an interest in preserves from that time on.
What do you love about your job?
We love being our own bosses. We love the flexibility of our working hours. We love being able to do something that we are passionate about and above all we love meeting people on a daily basis through the business. We have met amazing people over the last two and a half years.
What is your typical day?
Richie spends the day stirring his pots of jams and marmalades while Jackie packs up the orders and delivers to our stockists all over Kerry. We also send out orders with DPD for our stockists outside of Kerry and to our online customers.
What was your best day since you started your business?
Without doubt it has got to be getting our two awards at Blas in 2022.
Where do your ingredients come from?
Our fruit is sourced from a fruit wholesaler in Cork and our sugar comes from our local wholesaler in Killorglin. We try to keep our business as local as possible.
Tell us about the people you work with?
At the moment it is just Richie and Jackie, but we are taking on a new staff member in February and we are very excited about it.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself/your business?
Traditional, artisan and passionate.
What do you think is the key to success?
Consistent high standards and a strong work ethic.
Has there been one single moment which has changed how you look at your business?
Yes! When someone approaches you to tell you how much they love your product and shares an insight into how their family has included it in their daily lives, it makes you realise that the business is not just about making jam for people, it’s about making memories too.
And other news…….
Up to now, we have been making our preserves in our kitchen but it became evident last year that the business was growing too big for this and we set about securing an industrial kitchen. With the help of South Kerry Development we are finally moving into our brand new industrial kitchen in February and we are very excited about this.