Alum of Jam: Grandma’s Homemade
Starting off with a degree in food science from UC Davis and a childhood spent in his mother’s kitchen in Lebanon, it’s no wonder that Fadi Malouf ultimately became a food entrepreneur. However, his decision to launch his business did not come until after a near-fatal accident cut short his engineering career and put him on the long and tedious path to recovery. After a weekend project of preserving a box of figs using his family’s traditional recipe, Fadi decided to start Grandma’s Homemade because he wanted to offer customers “a darn good jam that’s not too expensive and tastes great!”
Two years after participating in Food Craft Institute’s inaugural Master Course in Jam, we checked in with Fadi to hear how he bottled his success…
What is your biggest inspiration?
The expression on people’s face when they taste my jam, it just makes you feel good. [So after all the hard work,] I can’t wait to get to the kitchen on Monday! And the more I find challenges in one batch, I find inspiration to make the next one better.
What was the most helpful aspect of FCI’s Master Course?
Education around legality and Health Department regulations–I was oblivious of this whole thing. Being an immigrant, I had no clue! Also learning better business models with Minh Tsai was very helpful for me.
What advice do you have for new food entrepreneurs starting out?
Don’t pay an hourly rate for your kitchen space–$25/hr for space rental is ridiculous! Secure a monthly rate so you can do your job right without time pressure and your costs are not so variable.
What do you envision the next 5 years will bring for your jam company?
In order to increase my sales and expand my business, I’ve thought of adding dairy products–cheeses, kefir, greek yogurt. I know how to do all of this! But ultimately what I’m hoping to do is have a storefront with a kitchen in the back that can produce anything and everything homemade! A little community place, where people enjoy themselves, it’s all about food–good cheese, good jam…and a good kitchen that’s open for space rental and co-packing. I’d like to help other newcomers and artisans take their product to the next level!
Find Grandma’s Homemade at a farmers’ market or retail location near you and experience preserve perfection for yourself!
If you want to see your jam business flourish like Fadi’s, take our next FCI Master Course Jams, Preserves and Conserves starting May 31st, 2014!