JIM JAM FOODS
Founded 16 years ago on a dare, the husband and wife team behind Jim Jam are passionate about every bit of Jim Jam Foods, chopping, mixing, heating, stirring, bottling and labelling all on their 60 acre property in Stanley, North East Victoria, where they married, and have lived for 12 years.
Boasting an extensive range, each product expands on all of the ideas and recipes that are in Mr.JimJam’s head, resulting in delicious range of goods, from relishes, salsas, beans, pasta sauces and more.
Who are the team behind Jim Jam Foods and what made you launch?
Steven Vandenbergh started JimJam foods on a dare 16 years ago. As a graphic designer by profession, he created the labels, came up with the quirky names and stories on the back of the label.
Maggie Mackenzie joined JimJam 13 years ago. (I tell people I loved the product so married the owner!) Prior to joining the business she had a food distribution business in Melbourne selling and distributing gourmet products including JimJam.
We moved to our 60 acre property 12 years ago in Stanley north east Victoria and were married 8 years ago under our walnut tree.
On the farm we have 60 Suffolk sheep and 7 lambs from this season. There is a chestnut orchard of 150 mature trees and these provide great feed for the sheep at the start of Winter, also for the multitude of kangaroos and wombats. One wombat returns each year and takes up residence under our terrace and emerges at morning tea each day to wander around the garden munching the grass.
Steven renovated a shed into our factory and then built a 2 storey packing shed which was built from trees felled and milled on the farm.
Eventually there will be a farm shop which will showcase our products.
What does a day in the life of the Jim Jam team look like?
On a typical day, Steven is out in the factory early to put on the pots so production can commence. Then inside for breakfast until helpers arrive.
Orders are packed each morning and our Fastway courier arrives every day to collect them for delivery all over Australia.
Morning coffee is always at 10.30 and visitors know if they want a chat or to discuss business to be here promptly for coffee.
Where does the name Jim Jam come from?
The name JimJam was created by Steven because it sounded catchy.
What was involved in the process of developing the Jim Jam foods range?
Our range expands on all of the ideas and recipes that are in Mr.JimJam’s head and usually only need mild tweaking once they are created.
As a husband and wife team, what is it like working with your partner?
Working closely together is wonderful although we can become obsessive about JimJam as we love living the business.
When you're not busy with Jim Jam foods, what do you like to do for fun?
On the farm we have an extensive garden and are about to dig a dam and plant another 100 exotic trees. These provide beauty as well as security from bush fires. We call that fun.
Based in Stanley, for anyone heading to North East Victoria, do you have any tips?
North east Victoria has stunning scenery, clear blue skies and an abundance of wineries, restaurants and galleries. With Beechworth 10 minutes away from Stanley there are so many places of interest within an hour’s drive. Rutherglen, the King valley, the Kiewa Valley and all the towns and villages there.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take three things, what would they be?
If we were stranded on a deserted island we would take Bear Grills, Scrabble and Google.