Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

Oswald Co.

Aussie Anna Peck has always been a health nut. But when she moved to New York to work (a former role was Senior Manager at Blue Apron), her fast-paced lifestyle caused her to rely more and more on ready-to-eat products from grocery stores. And she became pretty dismayed with what she was seeing. Especially in the jam aisle. Reliably preservative-packed and featuring ho-hum flavors, Anna was particularly shocked to find (by rule of the FDA) that a product needs to contain at least 55% sugar in order to be called jam. Which was pretty much proof positive that a makeover was needed when it came to preserves.

Anna honed in on her own healthy jelly recipe for Chia Smash — a favorite to share with friends —and decided to produce and market it on a larger scale. In 2009, she teamed up with COO Steven Ford, an outdoorsy food enthusiast who appreciated the natural energy boost supplied by her signature jam, and the Brooklyn-based company was born.

Bursting with real fruits, chock full of nutrient-rich chia seeds, and sweetened only with dates (not massive amounts of sugar), Oswald Co.’s product line is free of artificial ingredients and preservatives. The end result is jams that are still appealing and approachable to the average consumer, while providing a big health impact in an unexpected place. 

By transforming a household staple, Anna and Steve have unlocked the potential of a category that has long stayed status quo. What a way to think outside of the jar.