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Extra Jars Of Jam Led To Farm-Based Business
When Paulette Crampton gave a few extra jars of strawberry jam to a market gardening friend nearly 30 years ago, she didn’t expect that those first jars of jam would sell out in a day. The business grew to the point that in 1997 Paulette and her husband Sam sold their cattle herd and quit raising grain. Since then, they’ve been making jams and jellies full-time, selling to independent retailers.
“It’s hard to deliver jam to customers when you have 60 cows calving,” explains Paulette. “We also moved closer to Winnipeg to make marketing easier.”
Today Manitoba Maid makes nearly 40 different jams, jellies and marmalades. It’s no longer made in Paulette’s kitchen, but in a government approved production facility.
“We started out flying by the seat of our pants,” says Paulette. “Today it is more complicated with more hoops to jump through.”
She gives credit to officials from both the province of Manitoba and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for helping her and Sam through the process. She also took a training program through the University of Manitoba.
“Before you start any food business, talk to the inspectors,” says Paulette. “When we moved and built our processing facility, we had the health inspector in on the ground floor. He guided us on what was needed and helped us weather bureaucratic challenges.”
The Cramptons pride themselves on using nearly all local fruit, with the exception of those not found in Manitoba. Products are still packed in Mason jars and filled by hand. While they use the basic recipe on the pectin box, their jams are chunky compared to that of larger commercial operations that have to puree their jams for their automated systems.
Recently the Cramptons made another change in the business, selling it to neighbors Joyce and Douglas Livingston who plan to carry on the business as before.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Crampton’s Manitoba Maid, P.O. Box 239, Starbuck, Man. Canada R0G 2P0 (ph 204 735-2225 or 204 799-9480; cramptonsmanitobamaid@gmail.com; www.cramptonsmanitobamaid.com).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #1