Rachel Saunders likes to jam – she liked it before it was cool. This self-proclaimed "incurably nostalgic person" was so into preserving fruit, she slaved away in her tiny kitchen to perfect every single jam and marmalade technique (Every. Single. One.). In time, she became a jam genius – a marmalade master, if you will. Then and only then did she decide it was time to start an artisanal jam and marmalade company to showcase the "fruits" of her labor. She named it Blue Chair Fruit – the phrase reminded her of 1930's and 40's kitchen nostalgia – and got to work in her home-base of Oakland, California.
Starting a small business was no small feat. At first, Rachel worked two day jobs while also running the company. But over time, just like with jam, things came together in a sweet way: a tight-knit kitchen team formed, consisting of five employees including sous chef Jo and assistant Chris, who together produce over 1,000 jars of handmade jam per week.
Being a marmalade maestro has allowed Rachel to create a company that is not only a formidable fruit-preserving presence, but a brand that keeps loftier ideals in sight and works toward promoting them. BCF works almost exclusively with local farmers, and helps to connect them to consumers by showcasing heirloom and hybrid varieties of fruit. While they're at it, they manage to churn out 50 to 100 unique flavors every year, They're cooked up in small batches using traditional French copper jam kettles, which allow the full, true flavor of the fruit to shine through – the first priority of BCF.
These days, BCF is a hub for all things jam- and marmalade-related: Rachel teaches junior jammers the art of preservation from BCF's Oakland kitchen, as well as nationally, and has also released the James Beard-nominated Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, which is the "definitive modern guide to preserving."
We're so delighted to add some of her excexquisite jams to the Mouth lineup.