...is the inventive founder of Sally's Syrup, a line of locally made, infused simple syrups. Thoughtfully crafted in Minneapolis, MN, Sally’s Syrup offers a new way to add flavor that you can feel good about. Jennifer utilizes fresh, natural ingredients to make their syrups.The story begins in 2014 when Jennifer decided to take a hobby and turn it into a business. Trying her hand at growing herbs, Jennifer fell in love with gardening – just like her grandma, Sally. Using her homegrown herbs to create infused simple syrups, her flavorful blends became a staple when she was entertaining. Laughing over cocktails, a friend suggested she sell the syrups at local farmers’ markets. So that’s just what she did.
Talk about the beginnings of Sally's Syrup.
Sally’s Syrup is named after my late-grandmother, Sally. She passed away last summer and I took to gardening, one of her favorite hobbies. With more vegetables and herbs than I knew what to do with - I started making simple syrups. I’ve worked in hospitality since high school, and have always enjoyed creating and experimenting in the kitchen. I spent a lot of time cooking with my grandmother as well. When friends and family came over, we’d try making new cocktails with the syrups - some worked, some didn’t - but overall, everyone loved the idea and creating their own drinks. My friend Mikki suggested I sell them at the farmer’s market, and I thought - why not. I narrowed it down to six flavors and got to work.
How has your business evolved? How have you evolved?
I really had no idea what to expect when I started. Before I had even cooked the first batch, however, I already had a variety inquiries. It’s been a great “problem” to have. Honestly though, it has not evolved much - as I’m still in the starting phases and it is still a side project. I started the business to have fun and to remember my grandmother. I want to make sure those two things are always at the forefront of my company. There is great space for growth, and I look forward to taking the winter months to prepare for that. As for me, it's helped me to learn more about my strengths and weaknesses. I feel more confident in my ideas and my abilities; asking for help and also encouraging others.
Why do you think a localized economy is important?
Where to begin! Heather Rogers wrote a book called "Green Gone Wrong" in 2010 that had a huge impact on me, as well as "Wild Fruits" by Henry David Thoreau. There is so much goodness to be found locally. By outsourcing our food production and not utilizing our backyards we ruin the world's environment. There is so much potential in our own backyards and community - I think it is very important to tap into and cultivate those resources. A localized economy is sustainability in action.
How has living in Minnesota impacted your business and products?
Minnesota, and the Twin Cities in particular, is a hub of creativity and innovation. Watching others do their thing, and act on ideas is very encouraging. There are so many resources for small business owners in Minneapolis! It makes the process of starting, maintaining and growing a business easier.
Talk about the fulfillment that comes from being a maker.
It feels great to have an idea and see it come to fruition. There is something very satisfying and very wholesome to create something from start to finish, and even better to watch others enjoy it.
Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?
Go at the pace that is right for you. Make sure you decide what you want to get out of the business and what your priorities are. For me, Sally's Syrup has been a wonderful learning experience, but I also created it to be a source of fun in my life. Making sure you continue to have fun is very important. It has reminded me why I love this community - the collaboration and kindness has been very fulfilling.