An activity, which starts out as a hobby, rarely takes a turn to become a business. Shawna Fowler, 26, a former BC student, and Mara Jackson, 25, a BC graduate, only started to make jam a year ago out of fun. Both Fowler and Jackson have full-time jobs and are currently making jams for sale on the side.
The part-time business, which Fowler and Jackson named Window Sill Pie Co., had their first public promotion during the grand re-opening of the Foundry on First Friday back in September. Owners of the Foundry had invited them to the event, and it was there where they found their jams’ popularity flourish. “We had no idea it would get so big,” said Jackson.
When asked why they had chosen jam, Jackson said that it was due to the fact that it lasts for a long time. She also explained that if Fowler hadn’t attended California Culinary Academy, it wouldn’t be possible for them to make the jams right now.
WSPC currently has nine different flavors for their jams. Some examples of their flavors are sangria marmalade, spiced apple pie butter and persimmon pie jam. Sangria marmalade is their most popular flavor and was made by Fowler.
“I just came up with it,” she replied when asked about how she had come up with the sangria marmalade.
She wanted to make marmalade, stated Jackson ,when asked how Fowler had come up with the flavor sangria marmalade.
“When I came home, she was making marmalade and then she had put wine in it,” said Jackson. Like Fowler, Jackson also has created her share of jam flavors, her first one being the perfect pear pie jam.
The goal of the WSPC jam is that they want to make jam and not jelly, along with the idea of the jam tasting as though that you were biting into a fruit. Fowler stated that they shop mainly in farmer’s markets and that their top priorities are the quality, freshness and flavor of their ingredients. Within the jams they make, Jackson stated that they use fresh ingredients and no forms of preservatives are added into the final product.
The two jam cooks were invited to a couple of bazaars around Bakersfield. So far, they generate enough for the business to make jams for First Friday.
Around 200 jams are made in between the orders and their First Friday attendance.
They make between 3-10 jams just for the free samples, which are given away during their public promotions.
Jackson said that they won’t do cakes or cake pops.
“We want to do something nobody else does [in Bakersfield],” said Jackson.
A couple of their costumers had told them that they should be the next Fontana Pie Company.
“We want to open a pie shop,” stated Fowler.
The women currently cook in their own kitchen and hope that in the future they would have their own permanent business.
As of now, they make personal deliveries to the local orders and take their time to promote through Facebook.
Along with their promotions, they continue to attend First Friday and create more flavors.
WSPC uses an online e-commerce website in order to sell their products to the locals and even those outside of the California state line.
They also sell a mini pie and jam gift set, and a 12 assorted-jams set.
“It’s totally awesome,” Jackson excitedly stated about their current flow of business.
“Support local, buy local.”