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About Us

Back in the Nineties, Margery Schiffman was living in St. Helena in California's Napa Valley and working in New York. Tough commute, but she did it for ten years.

A longtime cook, Ms. Schiffman studied Chinese cooking in Taiwan and was known in both New York and Napa Valley for her dinner parties and handmade jams, which she gave as presents at holidays and special occasions.

One day, a friend who worked at Mondavi's Opus One Vineyard dropped off a few flats of late harvest Cabernet which had missed the crush. Margery quickly invented a recipe and turned them into a vintage dated Cab Jam, and dropped a few jars off at the Cantinetta, which was a tiny retail shop and deli attached to Michael Chiarello's TraVigne, which was literally just down the road on Pope Street.

The Cab Jam sold out instantly and a new business was born. 10 years later, Ms. Schiffman had moved to Pound Ridge in New York's Westchester County and continued what had become a lifelong search for unusual local fruit to Jamify.

One of the first fruits she found was a local Bosc Pear, which she eventually used to produce her first Pear Jam. Very tricky to make, it's delicate, natural flavor has made it a perennial favorite. Another great Jam is made from the wild raspberries which are hand-picked on the backroads of Upper Westchester and Western Connecticut in Fairfield County.

Both fruits have very short seasons and only a few cases of jam are made of each. To fill out the line, Margery has added Bing Cherry, Apricot, Peach and Apple Jams and occasionally makes Apple and Peach Chutney.

The jams are made by cutting the sugar content back to the lowest possible level. Some is required for the Jams to gel, and many a jam has turned into a syrup or a dessert sauce when the conditions weren't exactly correct.

Low production, careful hand preparation and recipes that are adapted with each batch to account for sweetness and ripeness lead to jams that are remarkable for their clarity of taste and intensity of flavor.

Margery invites you try one her creations. They are available only at the Pleasantville Farmers Market, John Jay Homestead Market and the Stamford Nature Center.

During market season the products are not available for online purchase, but occasionally, some jams are available for Thanksgiving and Christmas Sales and events.

The Conant Valley Jam Company, 2004 Briar Woods Ln. Danbury CT 06810 914.263.1530