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October 2007

October 8th: Learn all the deep dark secrets of jam-making. Catch cmbsweets on the Food Network's "Unwrapped" at 9.30 pm. Or, a repeat broadcast later that night at 12.30 am.

October 27th: Join us for Cheese Plus' second annual Harvest Festival at 2001 Polk Street in San Francisco. We'll be there from 11 am- 2.30 pm sampling the latest from cmbsweets' fall collection-- apple-honey butter, pomegranate jelly, blood orange mamalade...


August 2007

Stuck at home with a bushel of strawberries, a tub of sugar and some empty jars? Then try your hand at jam-making!

Making freezer jam is a ten-minute process: crush some fruit, addsugar, a packet of pectin and stir. Ladle into jars. Done.

For a complete how to, catch us on ABC 7's "View from the Bay" at 3pm, August 8th in San Francisco. Or, watch the entire process online. It's archived at http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=food&id=5549775.


July 2007

We always thought we had the world's most delicious jam. It's nice to know The Nibble agrees!

Some highlights:

"With such quality fruit, the preserves are largely untampered-with: chunky whole berries, minimally cooked, that stay true to the flavor of the fruit (for the most part, there are no added herbs, spices, or other flavorings)."

"Apricot Aficionado is a jar of apricot halves, cooked with a little almond extract and lemon juice. There’s a citrusy lilt, and the fruit is so good, it can be used to top pancakes or even a pork chop."

"Raspberry Retainer is the thickest raspberry preserve we have ever seen: the raspberries seem more hefty than they were pre-cooked. This sweet spread is a most impressive raspberry preserve—so far above most of its kind that it seems more like a raspberry compote."

"This is not only wholesome, good food, it’s fun food."

Get the entire review online at http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/jams/jam2/cmb-sweets.asp.


February 2007

Grab a jar of the world's most delicious jam at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market in San Francisco. At the La Cocina booth. Every Saturday, from 7am-2pm.


January 2007

Catch us at the Fancy Food Show, January 21-23rd at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Not only will you be able to sample the world's most fabulous jam, but we've also got some lovely new dessert sauces-- strawberry and blueberry-- that go great with a bowl of vanilla ice cream, a stack of pancakes or a cheesecake that just melts in your mouth. Plus a shortbread sandwich cookie, filled with our raspberry jam and drizzled in chocolate and glaze.

Booth #2315 in the South Hall. It's at the base of the 3100 aisle.

(On the first day of the show, we were lucky enough to meet food bloger extraordinaire Sam of Becks & Posh. Check out her initial review of the show-- and her photo of Amanda riding the Jelly Belly motorcycle!)


December 2006

What's that Sinatra song-- Was a very good year? Well, it was. But 2007 will be even better, a barrel full of fun and surprises.

And first is our debut at San Francisco's Ferry Plaza farmers' market. Under the banner of La Cocina, cmbsweets will be available alongside other local favorites, clairesquares and Mystipies. Our first day at the market is Saturday, February 2nd. We'll have more details to share soon enough...


Looks like we survived the holiday season. Though maybe just barely. And while you were out shopping (and we were desperately trying to convince you to buy), behind the secenes, life marched on as ususal at the jam factory. Wondering what a day in the life is like? Read about Yumna, our friend and co-worker, as she stirs and bakes in this article in the Christian Science Monitor.


Oh my. 'Tis the season. It's hard.

So make the holidays a little bit sweeter with cmbsweets!

Pick up some of the world's most fabulous jam Saturday Dec. 9th at the Shop Local First event on Union Square in San Francisco from 10am-5pm. Or the Renaissance Center's Holiday Fair in the San Francisco Citigroup Building on Sansome Street Friday Dec. 15th from 10am-7pm. And if you can't make it there, we'll be in Berkeley, at the Relish@Home Boutique on Saturday Dec. 16th from 5-8pm.

November 2006

Rob Zaborny, one of our all-time favorite chefs, knows pears. Check out his recipe for a grilled duck, comice pear, almond and pomegranate salad-- perfect for a Thanksgiving menu!


Now on the menu: Slather some strawberry jam on your bagel at Velo Rouge Cafe! 798 Arguello at McAllister, one block north of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Or if McCarren Park in Brooklyn is more your speed, it's on the menu at Mamalu too. 232 North 12th Street in Williamsburg.

October 2006

Now you can have the world's most fabulous jam delivered fresh to your doorstep, thanks to our new online store. You'll find our best-selling flavors, along with limited-edition seasonal favorites and gift sets for the holidays! Visit us at http://www.honestfoods.com/jam.html.

And, come try some of cmbsweets' fabulous fall flavors.

Mmmmm. Pomegranate. Mmmmm. Fig-sesame spread. Mmmmm. Vanilla-pear butter.

Saturday, October 21st at the Pasta Shop in Bekeley, 11.30am.

Saturday, October 28th at Village Market in San Francisco's Ferry Building, 9am.


September 2006

Kick Out The Jams!

Hello Friends! Please join us for The Curiosity Guild's first ever West Coast workshop "Kick Out the Jams!" on Sunday, September 3rd.

We'll learn all about everyone's favorite fruity condiment, enjoy a tasting of fabulous jams, and of course create a few of our very own delicious spreads to take home.

We're thrilled to have jammaster extraordinaire Carolina B. of cmbsweets leading this event. Check out her website, or visit the nearest location lucky enough to carry her tasty treats.

Space is limited so please RSVP.
Cost: $20
Location: Guild HQ
3824 Mission St. in San Francisco.


Summer 2006


After sampling strawberry jam from 13 artisanal producers, Sunset Magazine declared ours "the best in the West." "With a pronounced strawberry flavor , balanced acidity, and spoonable texture, it's a perfect breakfast treat with toast or scones."

Diablo Magazine likened our raspberry jam to, "a hot, sunny day in the mountains. Its heady, pure raspberry flavor carries a Proustian punch, instantly transporting all who have ever picked berries back to the briar patch of their youth. That clarity of flavor, along with Braunschweig's judicious use of sugar, her jams have far less than commercial brands but enough to give the perfect sweetness, make cmbsweets jams as close to homemade as you'll find."

Click on the photos to read more.


May 2006

Ever wonder how the jam-maker thinks? Check out Amy's interview with Carolina Braunschweig over at KQED's Bay Area Bites.


March 2006

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

WHAT'S NEW 3/15/2006

Although the 15 jams, jellies and butters from cmbsweets are syrupy sweet, they're also sassy. Catchy names like Bodacious Boysenberry, Prissy Li'l Pomegranate and Raspberry Retainer made us try all seven of the samples by the spoonful. Each was unique and delicious.

cmbsweets are available at Cheese Plus, Gumps and Glen Park Cheese Boutique in San Francisco, and the Pasta Shop in Berkeley and Oakland.


October 2005

From the Wall Street Journal Online:

How a Jam-Maker Found Her Recipe for Success

October 17, 2005

Editor's Note: This piece is the first in a new series about ways people generate extra income while working a regular job.

The entrepreneur: Carolina Braunschweig, 28, worked as a reporter covering the venture-capital industry for Thomson Corp. in San Francisco. During that period, she also began contemplating the direction of her career and considering ways to supplement her modest reporter salary.

The business: Ms. Braunschweig launched cmbsweets in June 2004, selling jams over the Internet at cmbsweets.com. Today her product line, which includes strawberry, boysenberry and olallieberry jams and apple-honey butter, is also sold in stores in New York, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area.

The idea: Ms. Braunschweig and a co-worker, inspired in part by their job covering the venture-capital industry, would discuss "get-rich-quick schemes" over lunch. One day, the idea for a jam-of-the-month club struck her fancy. "I wasn't an engineer or doctor, so I wasn't going to come up with the next great technology or medical invention," Ms. Braunschweig says. She says she was drawn to the idea from California's numerous varieties of fresh fruit, her friends who worked in the restaurant business and having seen specialty jams sell for as much as $12 a jar.

Getting started: From the beginning, there were several hurdles she needed to overcome, among the first, learning how to make jam. After she first proposed the idea over lunch, Ms. Braunschweig picked up some strawberries at a farmers' market and began researching jam making. Shortly thereafter, she launched her business, sending out an email to friends and co-workers, asking if they wanted to join her jam-of-the-month club.

Ms. Braunschweig says determining her start-up costs is difficult. When she decided to attempt the venture, she assumed the amount of money needed to begin would be low -- just enough to buy a pot, some fruit, sugar and jars. But she says she soon realized it was more complicated. First, there were the costs associated with complying with health-code regulations, she says.

She needed to pay $350 for a license from the San Francisco health department, and to make and sell her jam, the health department also required that she use a commercial kitchen, which she says costs between $10 and $15 an hour to rent.

The business plan: Ms. Braunschweig's business plan has evolved since she first conceived of the venture. During the first few months, she says, her efforts focused on selling to co-workers, friends and friends of friends. That changed in the fall of 2004.

In late September, a popular online magazine, Daily Candy, wrote a short article about her jams. That day, she says, her Web site received about 91,000 hits. Her site didn't have a page to take orders online, but she got hundreds of emails from customers with order requests. "That is when I first realized I could actually make a business out of this," Ms. Braunschweig says.

That led to the next evolution in her business. Ms. Braunschweig quit her job in October 2004, and the next month she upgraded her Web site, allowing costumers to order online.
But after months of filling orders, she discovered the inefficiencies of her plan. "The amount I received for filling a $10 order was mitigated by the amount of time I would spend putting the order together," Ms. Braunschweig says. That realization, she says, led her to shift from individual orders to building relationships with specialty shops, which order in quantity, while also promoting her product.

Her sales pitch to businesses is simple, Ms. Braunschweig says. She brings jam samples to stores for the proprietors to sample. Once the tasting piques their interest, she explains how she makes the jam -- using fresh fruit from small producers -- and then they discuss pricing. Packaging, she points out, is also crucial to her pitch. The label for each flavor tells a little story about what inspired its creation or the emotion it should elicit.

The pitfalls: Ms. Braunschweig admits she's hit her share of stumbling blocks. First and foremost was her inexperience. Having little know-how in the business world meant a steep learning curve. Not initially knowing about health-code regulations is one example. She also hadn't seen an order sheet prior to starting the business. For the first few months, she kept track of orders in a spiral-bound notebook until a friend put some order sheets in her hand. Finally, she points out, it took her a long time to realize that she should focus on stores instead of individual orders.

The payoff: Ms. Braunschweig declines to specify how many orders she receives a month or the revenue the business generates. But she is on target to reach her goal of signing on 20 stores to sell her jam by the end of the year. Since June, the list has reached 15.

Beyond the tangible business goals, Ms. Braunschweig still finds it exhilarating every time she gets a repeat customer.
"What I love about it is it's really, really neat to watch your own project grow and develop, to know that you've crafted this thing, and this thing now has a life of its own," Ms. Braunschweig says.

-- Mr. Grocer is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal Online.















































May 2005

Considered giving jam away as a wedding favor? No??!! Brides Magazine has! Read on...

Favors with Flavor
Not Jonesing for Jordan Almonds? You have alternatives.

Tired of the standard edible favors? Then consider another guest giveaway that will create tasty memories (and costs $6 or less each). Pass out private-label hot sauce from www.productswithpersonality.com. Make it look like you've been slaving away at the stove with organic jewel-toned preserves from www.cmbsweets.com or granola cups from www.1-800-granola.com. Let your guests wake up to whole-leaf teas packaged in pyramid-shaped infusers from www.teaforte.com. Encourage them to experiment with internationally-themed spices from www.pinchplus.com (recipes included.) Prettily packaged culinary sea salt with seaweed is a great choice for beach weddings; you'll find them at www.gourmetcountry.com. For a taste of California, try an olive spread from www.napatraditions.com. www.moosewoodhollow.com offers herb-infused maple syrup, perfect for an autumn wedding or if you're saying "I do" in New England (for more regional choices, visit www.foodlocker.com.) In the decadence department, Krispy Kreme now makes cozy two-packs and will even send a paneled truck to distribute the doughnuts hot and fresh to departing guests (www.krispykreme.com).