Name: Patricia Vinas
Business/Location: Jarred Fresh/New Jersey
Specialty: We handcraft a one-of-a-kind flavor experience that will keep you coming back for our delicious, healthy, vegan and gluten-free goodies. Our signature product is our raw Salsa Fresca that has been referred to as “addictive,” but original recipe hummus is giving it a run for the money.
What problem does your business solve?: Jarred Fresh is the answer to your entertaining food needs. We offer everything from appetizers with our salsa, hummus and black bean and jalapeño dip to condiments for your meats and fish with our Aji hot pepper relish or chimichurri. We also offer side dishes like our bean salads and bean burgers as main courses. And, as an added bonus, all vegan and non-vegan guests will be happy.
What makes your business unique?: The versatility of our products makes Jarred Fresh unique. Yes, our salsa is great for dipping chips, but it’s also a time saver and great ingredient to add to your favorite chili recipe because it eliminates the need to chop all the necessary veggies. Our hummus pairs well with your favorite pita, but it also makes a delicious hummus crusted chicken. You will never go through the trouble of making breaded chicken cutlets again, and it’s healthier, too. It’s a win win! This is one of my visions — to be creative and encourage our customers to do the same in the kitchen. We try to help them by putting recipes using our products on our website.
What’s your story?: As a young mom, I loved to cook for her family and friends. Starting my own food business was a dream of mine but raising my children became my priority. Being creative in the kitchen was an outlet for me, so I began creating appetizers like salsa for my kids’ birthday parties, as well as for my ever-growing extended Latin family. My salsa was a hit, and requests kept coming in. My career in Corporate America was affected by the changing job market in 2015, and as I got more and more requests for my salsa, my friends and family kept telling me I should start selling it. So, with the support of my husband and my now-grown children, Jarred Fresh was born in early 2017. We are proud to be a family-owned and operated business making fresh, locally sourced, healthy products containing no preservatives.
One piece of advice you have for other food entrepreneurs: Prior to starting your business, do as much market research as you can. Attend food events and learn about the current food trends. Learn as much as you can about building your brand on social media. Talk to as many business owners as you can about their experiences.
What do you wish you had known before you started your business?: All the 411 on starting a good business. But learning as you go is a great life experience regardless of the hurdles that come with running your own company.
What’s your greatest challenge in your business and how are you overcoming it?: Because we are a pop up currently selling at local farmers’ markets, food events and online, our challenges are forecasting how much product to make for each market or event. Tracking the sales of each product helps but the trend for each product changes from week to week. As our following grows on social media, we have had requests for shipping to different states and Canada. Because our products do not contain preservatives and require refrigeration, shipping is a challenge that we are working on.
What are you most proud of about your business?: I am so thankful for the opportunity to interact face to face with our customers and see their expressions when they try our products for the first time. It’s always wonderful to hear them say “this is the best salsa I have ever tasted” or “OMG! this hummus is amazing.” This is what it’s all about!
What do you love most about being a food entrepreneur? I love the freedom of creativity in the kitchen. To me cooking is an expression of love that I enjoy sharing with our customers. They inspire me to get back in the kitchen and continue creating more products to add to our growing lineup. The sky's the limit...
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