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Stonewall Kitchen celebrates 30-year anniversary

The Maine-based company started with its founders selling homemade jam at a farmers market in Portsmouth. Decades later, that jam is now sold around the world.

YORK, Maine — Stonewall Kitchen is celebrating 30 years of business!

The Maine-based company, best-known for its jams, chutney, jellies, and sauces, has evolved from a farmers market passion project into a multi-million-dollar business. 

As legend tells it, founders Jon King and Jim Stott began selling homemade jam at a farmers market in Portsmouth, NH, on May 11, 1991. The blueberry jam emulated King's grandmother's pie recipe. 

Decades later, chief sales and marketing officer (and Jon King's sister) Natalie King says the company's products are now sold in more than 60 countries. 

Natalie joined her brother in businesses 25 years ago. She was Stonewall Kitchen's 12th employee. 

"If you had asked me 25 years ago where we would be today, I'm not sure I would have been able to predict this," Natalie King said. 

King credits the company's long-term success to its dedication to its core values: quality and consistency.

"The recipe that we use today for our Wild Maine Blueberry Jam is the recipe we used at the farmers market," she added. "Is it made in big kettles now? Absolutely. But is it still Wyman's Maine blueberries? Yes. We could make it much cheaper if we got our blueberries from Canada or used varietals, but we don't."

The jam also contains pure cane sugar rather than fructose. King said while the fructose would reduce costs dramatically, the company is unwilling to budge on quality.

"We've just really always stuck to that core value of 'quality first and we'll be successful,'" she said.

Stonewall Kitchen has its headquarters in York, Maine. That's also where it has a company store and cooking school. 

The company was acquired in 2019 by a Boston-based private equity group called Audax. 

As Stonewall Kitchen celebrates 30 years, it is also offering some promotions online. 

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