Original Article: https://www.bradfordtoday.ca/local-news/the-jam-guy-finds-his-sweet-spot-at-markets-supporting-community-2539846
Written By: Jackie Kozak
Local Bradford resident Robert Salmons, also well known as ‘The Jam Guy’ whose iconic caricature face is his logo, has made quite the impression in town with his delicious, popular jams. Robert and his wife, Debbie, began selling jams and preserves at local markets across Georgina in 2014 and quickly gained in popularity after selling out of their products weekly.
The Salmons’ extensive list of popular products range from apple sauce, garlic dilled pickles, beets, pickled onions, red pepper jellies, and a variety of jams including banana-cinnamon, carrot-cake, pineapple-rhubarb, pumpkin, watermelon, butter tart jams, and even jams with alcohol such as Irish Cream (adults only). “We include labels on all our jars to let customers know where their jams are coming from – family farms,” explains Debbie. “We support local farms such as the Highmark Farm, Marques Family Farm, Back to Basics Farm, and Maso Farm.”
The Jam Guy also sells sugar-free, vegan and keto-friendly jams. “Our most popular jam last year was the sugar-free raspberry”, said Robert. “Our goal is to get sugar-free jams into all restaurants for diabetics or keto.” While working hard to meet the high demands of the jam industry, the Salmons are also busy giving back to the community through sponsorship and charitable donations. Last year, The Jam Guy sponsored the peewee hockey league, Bradford Bulldogs, and, more recently during COVID-19, he donated jars of jam to staff at Southlake Hospital. This year, the couple are supporting the Bradford Scouts fundraising program by collecting mason jars to donate, paying .25 cents per jar with the proceeds going towards the Scouts trip to Switzerland in 2021.
“Our goal is to support local farmers, businesses and community events,” explains Robert. “But also, to reinvest that money to help local families”. When prepping for jams, the Salmons have a “three hot bath system” to wash and sterilize the jars, before and again afterwards before sealing the jars completely. This ensures that the jars are stable; if by the third wash, they break, then they are recycled. “We want to leave a green imprint on the world,” states Debbie. “We would like to one day have our own production and recycling plant too – keep the landfill dry.”
Last year, the Salmons did more than 120 vendor shows and sold out at almost every show. This year they have been busier than ever and are looking to hire someone to help keep up with the busy demands of daily orders.
“When COVID hit, I didn’t think we would have the season we did last year,” confesses Robert. “But then ‘boom’ the phone started ringing!” The Jam Guy also has a loyalty program wherein after buying 10 jars (any size, any kind) you receive the 11th jar free. “People are great in this town,” compliments Robert. “If we support our local businesses and put money back into others, we will survive.”