Sometimes dreams are born of necessity. sweet thing gourmet is one of those dreams.

It began back in 2003, on a brilliant Saturday morning late in July. With five cases of jam and several dozen biscotti loaded in my car, and butterflies flitting in my stomach, I set off for my
local farmer’s market. I pitched my card table and umbrella, unloaded my goods, and prayed to God I would make enough to cover my costs.

Actually, the story begins much earlier.In 2000 my husband, our infant son, and I arrived in Columbus seeking new jobs and a life different from our strapped-together one in Montana. I had visions (albeit somewhat fuzzy) of a career in marketing or editing.Mark landed a job rather quickly in graphic design, but as I was applying and interviewing for positions, we discovered I was pregnant. With twins.

How quickly life can change! Our girls were born at the beginning of 2001, and suddenly we found ourselves with three children ages 2 and under. The first year was all about survival—day to day psychologically, pay-check to pay-check financially. Work for me was not even an option at that point. By the time the girls were two, things were better, emotionally at least. Financially we needed, like so many Americans, a second income.

But like so many Americans, it pained me to think of someone else raising our children while I went out to earn a paycheck. Who would give them hugs during the day? Would they be stuck inside all day, or get lonely? Whose values would they learn?

And so the idea of a home-based business was born. I had always loved to cook, and had learned to bake and put up preserves from my mother. And, beautifully, I could operate the business from our home under Ohio’s “Cottage Foods Industry” clause. At first we thought of naming the company “InaJam”, but the moniker just didn’t capture the spirit of the venture. “sweet thing” encapsulated it all: an enterprise to enhance people’s lives with great flavor while nurturing the lives of our children.

Granted it hasn’t all been easy, or sweet. There were many times during those first few years when I questioned, probably like many mothers, if I was indeed nurturing our children’s lives. Parenthood is trying, and so is running a business. Doing them simultaneously has at times been overwhelming.

Yet we are beginning to arrive in a good place. Our children can see the benefit of working hard at something we feel passionate about, and even pitch in to help where they can. We are creating products that we feel good about. Everytime someone says, “I never really liked jam before I tried yours,” and “I can’t go a week without some of that biscotti,” or a parent tells me, “Your jams are the only ones my child will eat,” my heart glows.

The dream is coming true.

 

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© 2009 sweet thing gourmet

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