Berwick nurse turns her skills to marmalade-making
Sarah-Jane Gladstone is a specialist rheumatology nurse at Berwick Infirmary but she also has a secret life as a maker of artisan preserves.
She said: “I had been making jams and marmalades for years and friends had been telling me for some time that they were good enough to sell.”
So, in March 2017, she took the plunge. Her first batches were of three-fruit marmalade followed by blackcurrant, raspberry and strawberry jams.
In their hexagonal jars, with labels designed by local artist Cara Byfield, they were soon selling steadily in local outlets.
Sourcing fruit has been an on-going adventure. Some, like the citrus fruits used in marmalade, can be bought, but others have been donated by friends. In the case of blackberries and raspberries, they can be picked in the wild, although only the best will do.
Sarah-Jane entered some of her work in the Duns Show last August – and secured a second for her raspberry jam, a third for her blackcurrant and a highly commended for her lemon curd.
It was this success that prompted her to enter a jar of three-fruit marmalade in the World’s Original Marmalade Awards, in Cumbria, which this year attracted more than 3,000 entries from more than 30 countries.
Her entry didn’t quite make a medal, but it was commended. She said: “I was delighted. There were well over 100 entries in my class and I couldn’t believe I had done so well.”
She now has plans to expand production.
Visit her Facebook page – Sarah-Jane’s Jams and Preserves. Her products can be bought at Cookcraft and Burrydin Books, Berwick; at Peter Walker’s butchers shop in Coldingham; at the Country Store, Reston; and at JR Soulsby and Son, Rothbury.