Slow Jams doubles production with move to Hopeful Harvest

Slow Jams isn't getting just a little help from its friends. The slow food startup is doubling its production thanks in large part to the help of a number of friendly entrepreneurial resources across metro Detroit.

The craft food maker has doubled the production of its jams over the last year by working with local institutions like Eastern Market Corp. and FoodLab Detroit. The biggest boost has come from moving to Forgotten Harvest’s food company incubator, Hopeful Harvest, in Oak Park.

"They are making it possible for small businesses like Slow Jams to grow our customer base and keep expanding," says Shannon Bryne, owner of Slow Jams.

Hopeful Harvest provides small food-based businesses with a wide variety of resources and services, such as full-service processing, manufacturing, and packaging. The commercial kitchen is a big plus for Slow Jams production efforts as it moves further and further into bulk production for larger customers, such as restaurants. Today it produces 500 cases of jams a month, double its production from a year ago.

"It provides the production capacity we need," Bryne says. "It's 10 times the size of our old space."

Slow Jams and its staff of six employees and the occasional summer intern from Detroit Food Academy also started working with a distributor from Chicago earlier this year. That relationship opened up new markets in the Windy City, northern Indiana, and west Michigan. Slow Jams is now focusing on fleshing out its sales in those areas along with the rest of Michigan to consolidate its recent gains.

"That takes some time," Bryne says. "It's what we're focused on right now."

Source: Shannon Bryne, owner of Slow Jams
Writer: Jon Zemke

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