Home-based business IN A JAM! opens

PARKERSBURG – A woman’s love for her hobby has turned into a cottage industry from her Parkersburg home.

IN A JAM!, Andrea Duke’s home-based business, sells jams at more than 10 locations across West Virginia.

“This really has evolved from just a little hobby business to something that I have become really proud of,” Duke said.

She loved making jams as a child with her grandmother, Clara Wilson, part of the reason she started her business. Her grandmother still helps.

“It’s been amazing how many people tell me that what I am doing reminds them of their mothers and grandmothers when they were kids,” Duke said.

Duke’s process to make jam is not difficult, but it does take time and patience.

The first step is picking the fruit from among three farms. She and her grandmother pick berries at Wagner’s Fruit Farm in Waterford, Hidden Hills Orchard in Marietta or Dillon’s Farms in Lisbon, Ohio.

The next step depends on when the berries will be made into jam, she said. Berries that will not be used for a while are frozen, Duke said.

“Some berries are only good for three to four weeks at a time so there are times of the year I have to freeze a lot of them,” she said.

After the berries are processed into jam, it is put into jars, which she obtains in Pennsylvania. Jars are then labeled and packaged for delivery to the store or other sales, she said.

“This year alone I will make at least 6,000 jars of my various jams,” said Duke.

Among her sales locales are The Point Park Market Place at 113 Ann St. in Parkersburg and the Capitol Market in Charleston. She also sells at the Bonds Creek Farmers Market in Pennsboro and the Bridgeport Farmers Market.

On the first Saturday of the month, Duke takes her jams to the Harrisville Farmers Market and on the first Wednesday of the month to the Doddridge County Farmers Market.

Duke will be giving free samples of her jams June 3-5 at the West Virginia Interstate Fairgrounds in Mineral Wells, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. June 11 at Mother Earth Foods on 19th Street in Parkersburg and at the Mid-Ohio Valley Multi Cultural Festival June 17-19 at Parkersburg City Park.