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Spreading Hope at Southridge Jam Co. - innovate niagara

Spreading Hope at Southridge Jam Co.

May03

As a social enterprise, we are not just promoting our jams and jelly; our goal is to make social change accessible to anyone who wants to make a difference.

The Marketing of Social Change

For a social enterprise, it all starts with a story – one that is lived, shared, and heard across a community of people. It's powerful when this story grows, in combination with others, to help us all believe that in the face of an overwhelming social issue such as homelessness, there is still hope.

At  The Southridge Jam Company, individual stories of homelessness and resilience have been accumulating for over two years. I am the Social Media Specialist for Southridge Jam Co., and I have the privilege of sharing these experiences with our audience of hope-spreaders.

Southridge Jam Co. is a social enterprise in Niagara that makes locally-sourced jam and reinvests the proceeds from sales into the  Southridge Shelter in St. Catharines, Ontario. However, just as important to our social impact is the jam-making process itself; individuals transitioning out of homelessness gain job training, life skills and a sense of purpose in the production kitchen while making small-batch jam.

As we gear up for our third season of production, we want to amplify the hope we're seeing in the kitchen at Southridge Jam Co. by gathering the stories from our entire production process:

  • There are the generous local farmers who donate quality fruit to our team.
  • Through the Southridge Caribbean Workers program at farms such as these, we can also share the stories of the hardworking men who harvest our fruit across Niagara, so they can support their families at home.
  • There are also volunteers inside and outside the kitchen, who have provided mentorship and expertise to our team as we accomplish our production goals.
  • While our jam is sold online, we are also fortunate to have a growing list of retail partners who want to create space on their store shelves for our jam and jelly.
  • Finally, the consumers, the game-changers, who are giving away our jam at their weddings, or to their staff for holiday gifts, or end-of-the-year thank you gifts for teachers. The list goes on and every character in our story is vital to the social impact we are making.

Just as in life, a good story is written when you are surrounded by community, and we have been experiencing just that at Southridge Jam Co from farm, to kitchen, to store, to table. As a social enterprise, we are not just promoting our jams and jelly; our goal is to make social change accessible to anyone who wants to make a difference. It’s a wonderful thing to help people realize that they have the power to contribute to something sweet in the world through a simple jar of jam.

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Experience The Southridge Jam Company story, as told by Brendon Nicholson, Program Director, and Scott Cronkwright, Jam Maker, in this podcast.

To learn more about The Southridge Jam Company, visit:

Website: https://southridgejam.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouthridgeJamCo/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/southridgejamco/?hl=en

Written by: Julia Sillett