The nearly extinct Blenheim apricot may be the finest tasting in the world. Even still, I was never an apricot jam fan, until I tasted “We Love Jam.” Now I’m hooked.
I discovered We Love Jam and their Blenheim apricot jam back when Eric Haeberli and Phineas Hoang had just started producing jam in extremely limited quantities from one very old, organic tree in Phineas’ mom’s backyard. The jam could be purchased in limited quantities, and each year they would run out of product. Eric and Phineas would send out update emails to their small email list of loyal customers. I bought as much as I could, whenever it was available.
Eric and Phineas began canning the apricots out of convenience—they were literally picking the low-hanging-fruit in the backyard—but it was the story behind the apricots, and their specialty canning and recipe that have created a cult following.
Blenheim apricots were on the brink of extinction when they began canning them as jam. They were once an important crop of California’s Silicon Valley area before the growing crop of high tech companies squeezed out all the farms. Eric and Phineas felt compelled to start the business to save and draw attention to this important fruit. They now produce apricot jam from one of the last remaining Blenheim orchards in the valley.
Over the years, We Love Jam has created a cult following. Eric and Phineas say that people who normally hate apricot jam have become addicted. And, people who are on diets have been reported to eat an entire jar in one day. Now that’s fan fandom.
They have also started selling other products such as BBQ sauce, plum jams, kumquat marmalade, pickles, hot sauce and caramel sauce. All their products are produced in small batches that can all be purchased or requested if they are sold out.
“We are just naturally curious and creative in the kitchen and enjoy coming up with new things,” says Eric of their growing product line, “Down the road we will continue to develop new products and expand distribution.”
We Love Jam can be purchased at their online store; at two local Farmer’s Markets; at Williams Sonoma, and select locations in 7 states.
Eric and Phineas say they are lucky to have fallen into a business where they can do what they love. They say that a love of food and cooking was the number one factor that made this into a business.
The partners do everything from imagining new products, to production and package design. “From start to finish we control every aspect of the business. This means we run very efficiently and can bring new products to market in a matter of weeks.” The partners are the sole owners of the business—down to the custom-made manufacturing facility built from scratch. “Over the years we have learned by trial and error if something doesn’t work we just move on quickly to something else with little financial loss. Some big companies spend a fortune on a new product and end up abandoning it. We nip things in the bud since we are very small and nimble. We also do extensive market research at the farmers markets we do before we finalize a product for production.”
So, if you could imagine some of the best tasting apricot jam in the world, artisan crafted from farm to jar by Eric and Phineas, then I say We Love Jam is just for you.