Lillie O'Brien and Jam
Jam Maker Extraordinaire
I consider myself extremely lucky because I live near the London Borough of Jam. No, it's not an actual borough but a delicious shop based in Hackney that sells jams along with homewares, speciality food and local spirits.
It's run by expat Australian Lillie O'Brien and I've watched her open her cosy store and build her brand and reputation. I've often reflected on her business and creative success.
First and foremost, O'Brien is a great chef. Before she even launched herself into Instagram and other digital platforms, she simply began with a high quality and great tasting product.
As a customer, you know you are purchasing quality ingredients which are sourced in thoughtful and ethical ways and lovingly prepared. Hold a jar of jam in your hand and you see deep colours and real fruit. Flavours are embellished by the likes of cardamon, bay leaves, loganberries, rose geranium or lemon verbena: royalty spices and herbs in the condiment world.
I like to spend my limited money on good food. I buy sour bread, spelt bread and rye breads from independent bakers. O'Brien's jams are the only rightful way to crown them. Now that Christmas is approaching, I know that her preserved lemon will be a centrepiece on our table.
O'Brien also has an eye for detail and packaging. Her store is lovely, her labels are beautiful and her products are delightfully presented. And then there is Lillie OBrien herself: friendly, accommodating, interested in her customers and passionate about her work. She trained as a pastry chef in Australia and then moved to the UK about ten years ago.
Walking into the London Borough of Jam always makes me feel happy and uplifted. A creative Australian woman pursuing her dreams and enhancing London's food industry. What more could you ask for, apart from great jam, and she makes that too.
Jams are stocked across London and other parts on the UK. Try her jam at the Royal National Theatre Shop on London's Southbank, or visit her website for stockist details. Better still, visit her store in Hackney. If you visit on a Sunday, you will find my family queued up for donuts. See you there.
London Borough of Jam : www.londonboroughofjam.com/