For those foodies out there planning trips around regional culinary delights, Bar Harbor, Maine has its lobster; Memphis, Tennessee, its barbeque; Miami, Florida, its Cuban black beans and rice; and Greensboro, Georgia, well, Greensboro has its jalapeno jams. It is all about the jams in this town in Lake Country where jalapenos typically grow in potted plants on windowsills and decks.
Home made here in Greensboro, three b’s jams was born out of a love the owners, Matt and Brandi Boswell, have for visiting local fruit farms for fresh-picked produce. Returning home with fruit just picked, Brandi would transform the bounty into an assortment of organic peach, strawberry, and blueberry jams. Matt would finely chop jalapenos and add them in small batches to the boiling mixture on their stove top and soon they had a winning combination that saw their product being sold in 43 stores in both Georgia and Florida. Not bad for a business started out of “boredom staying home during COVID in 2020,” says Brandi.
First marketed on social media, three b’s jams’ early success had the couple moving from their kitchen to two individual copackers, one in Statesboro and the other, Blackberry Patch in Thomasville, who now pack and distribute the product. A distinct logo and packing design were developed and the Boswells served as quality control ensuring that their special recipes were duplicated just right and met the exacting standards expected of its name. Three fruit flavors emerged – blueberry, peach and strawberry and the product was marketed as not only a delicious jam but also as a dip, drizzle, glaze, and marinade.
Who knew the popular green pepper that often packs a punch for spiciness and was even sent in the Space Shuttle as a food item in the 80s, could be just that one star ingredient to propel the Boswells into the next step in their culinary success? The Boswells saw a tremendous opportunity for their handcrafted batches of yummy goodness with just the right winning ingredient to market for the masses.
Due to the many collaborations the Boswells had, they were encouraged to enter the state’s proving ground for small, upstart food companies in the annual “Flavor of Georgia” contest at the University of Georgia. The Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest is organized by the UGA Department of Food Service and Technology with support from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Grown and Georgia Agribusiness Council. Three b’s was among the finalists in a field of over 148 different products ranging from coffee, barbeque sauces, dairy, meats and seafood, condiments and salsas, and more. Entries are evaluated by category based on their Georgia theme, commercial appeal, taste, innovation, and market appeal.
“The Flavor of Georgia competition is an opportunity for the Department of Food Sciences and Technology to make an impact with companies and their products. Ultimately, these new businesses and products benefit not only those directly involved in them, but also those who buy the product,” says FST Department Head and Professor Manpreet Singh.
Proving it is more than a contest, the Flavor of Georgia showcases the best in entrepreneurial food talent statewide. Past entrants claimed to have seen a boost in sales due to product exposure at the contest. Additionally, economists with the Center of Agribusiness and Economic Development report product sales for entrants in all 49 states with significant sales throughout the southeast. Although the three b’s did not win the grand prize, which went to Hart Dairy in Waynesboro, Georgia, it showed a commitment to bringing an idea to fruition, no pun intended.
If entering the contest wasn’t enough, three b’s jam has become ever popular in the Lake Country with area relators who have given it to clients as welcome gifts for newly purchased homes. It has become a cult favorite with those who have received a popular flavor as a gift and repeat orders have come in from all over the United States.
The Boswells intend to secure the jam market and are committed to ensuring “It’s all about the JAM!” in Greensboro.
For more information, including recipes and 3 b’s jam retailers, visit www.threebsjams.com or call 706-818-3114.
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Story written by Maureen Stratton, photos courtesy of 3 b's jam, published in Lakelife magazine May-June 2022.