After five roller coaster years of creating The Jelly Queens, a little organic jelly and jam company, that has won over 12 world awards, I am very clear that it really does give me a voice. The Jelly Queens and I get to be a voice for all good things, especially food. Good, sustainably grown, farmer-friendly, local, organic, healing food! And Texas, home of The Jelly Queens, is a hot, juicy bed for sustainable agriculture and exceptional cooking!
So how did I get myself into this, you might ask when all I was aiming for was a little hobby?
It all started with FOX’s, mega-hit cooking show, MasterChef. 39,000 people auditioned and 100 were chosen, including me, to battle it out to become the second season’s winner. Believe it or not, at the end of the show some amazing friendships were formed. And on a crisp fall evening, about six months after the show wrapped, seven of us gathered to make dinner for 200 people at one of the most beautiful homes in Dallas. I knew being on MasterChef was gonna change my life, but dinner that night created a wave that has not stopped rolling. I call it the jelly roll – we are on a jelly roll. The Jelly Queens since that day has changed, morphed and grown. I could even say it has taken on a life of its own.
One of my mentors said to me, “Be prepared, people will come and go, there will be ups and downs, but it will be a great adventure. It will take as many as 10 partners, 10 times to get it right, 10 incarnations, some will be good and some will be bad, some will give and some will take, but each incarnation will better than the next. Stay the course because you are spot on, keep your eye on creating a wave of delicious conscious awakening.” And he was right, partners have come and gone, friendships made and lost, but the concepts, brainstorming, and devotion to goodness have been nonstop.
Just like our recipes, there are lots of ingredients, people, places, things, times and events that have contributed to The Jelly Queens’ creation. I knew from the very beginning that change was part of creation. What I did not know was how much I would love each incarnation of The Jelly Queens, (even the ones that included hard lessons, maybe those are the best), or how much I wanted each to be “The One,” or how hard it would be to let things go, or how each lesson, trial, and tribulation would teach me about what I really want and who I really want to share this process with…or how much I would love and wish blessings on those who have walked with me...
If you know The Jelly Queens, then you know we are all about adventure. We love road trips that take us from the city to the country. Trips that show us the bounty of Texas and beyond. Our trips have taken us from coast to coast, where we gather ingredients from the best farms we can find. Although most of our produce is local to Dallas and Austin, we have farms from California to Georgia that help us achieve our flavor profiles. We use the culinary traditions that have been passed down for generations, some dating back to 1826. We do all this to show you show the importance of our #1 devoted core value, organic living through sustainable agriculture and food manufacturing.
I am sure you think The Jelly Queens is a fun name, maybe even silly or frivolous but we are doing some great and serious work, we just have a good, tasty time while we do it! Someone once said they felt sorry for me, working so hard to create the Jelly Queens, but they did not understand me. They did not understand how much I love the creative process, how much I love cooking and especially how much I love feeding everyone and jelly, like most really good food, helps contribute to little moments of joy and adds to all kinds of memories.
The ideas for the company have really come from the way we live our lives. The things that are important to us and the issues we are committed to. The ways in which we show our love, and have come to understand that everything is a reflection. It is about the lessons we want to teach our children that deal with home, family, community, food, and the strength of women. And how we go about creating a life where working, being devoted to a cause and having fun are combined in the same activity, and how to leave a legacy that will contribute to future generations.
Our website is being designed to help you understand food, where it comes from and how it is made. It is to assist you in creating great meals and good memories that will make everyone at your dinner table feel like royalty. And it is a space to let us share our news, to keep you up to date with all our new creations. For instance, we are amping up our healthy, fresh, organic food with new edibles, spices, drinks and body products that will be infused with CBD, essential oils, and herbal supplements to help detox, energize or relax you and promote a sense of well-being. We love being part of the slow food and good food movements. No co-packers for us, we do everything by hand, low and slow, in open kettles to retain nutritional value.
If you are wondering who The Jelly Queens really are, know this, we are the magic people in your life. We come and go quickly, sweep in with change and excitement, set you on a path you never thought of, show you a new way to look at what is important in your life, give you a leg up before you strike out on your own.
We are always pleased to share our concepts, art, recipes, and wild ideas to let you build on them and create something new that is all your own and maybe even more wonderful than we ever imagined. We love looking back on our journey to see the impact we have had on others.
We understand the importance of community, of gathering everyone to a common table to share in rhythms of the heart, the harvest, the earth and living a loving life. And we know we are blessed to get to spread our message through cooking and passing our wisdom down as we stir sweet and savory mixtures of fruit and spice. We create a revolution wherever we go, changing the way food is grown, cooked and served, how families and communities gather, and we really are always up for a new adventure, a new lesson, a new challenge and a new beginning.
We are grateful for the time we spend with you, no matter how fleeting!