Lynn Murden, Owner and Cook
Yummies in a Jar opened in 1992 with my dream of starting a cottage industry amidst the splendour of Muskoka that would allow my imagination to flourish. Working for myself and having the freedom to create my own future had always been my goal.
I grew up primarily in Vancouver, BC and attended the BC Institute of Technology in the late 70's. I travelled and lived in Australia for most of the 80's then moved to Ontario to settle down. I met my husband John Murden, an incredibly talented Artist, and together we moved to Baysville and built a small Gallery. Putting my Hotel Restaurant Management course to good use, I took my love of cooking and combined it with my love of people to create my perfect business (well, except for all the pot washing!)
Yummies began by selling a dozen jars of Strawberry Rhubarb jam at a Baysville street fair and by the 2nd sale, I was hooked! I began experimenting in earnest and learning the art of jam making. We came up with the name, John designed a label and I started selling at Bracebridge Farmers' Market, the Gravenhurst Farmers' Markets and local craft shows. That first year we photocopied the pages of labels, cut them by hand and glued each label to the jars with a paint brush and a pot of glue. I cut fabric circles and finished every jar with a pretty fabric hat which took almost as long as making the jam itself! This was all done in our 600 sq' 1935 log home that became a maze of jam boxes stacked throughout the house. Friends would come for dinner and would have to help me put hats on jars so we could clear off the dining table before dinner! 20 kg bags of sugar, empty jars, fruit, pectin, etc was lugged up steep, narrow stairs from our basement to my tiny kitchen and the finished products were lugged back downstairs again for storage - no wonder I have a bad back!
The business grew, I started selling to a few specialty shops and attended more craft shows. By then I was selling at three Muskoka Farmers' Markets, selling to stores, doing 30 craft shows a year and cooking 2 or 3 days a week. I remember calling my Mom one day to tell her I'd double my business as I'd bought 2 more pots! I worked this way for 8 years until we finally agreed that Yummies in a Jar was indeed a going concern and it was time to expand. We did a major addition to our house, built a separate commercial kitchen downstairs so everything is on one level and that is where I still cook today.
Using local products where possible, I prepare high end preserves. Each recipe has been created from scratch using only the finest ingredients and all products are prepared in small, individual batches to ensure a result that will tickle your tastebuds. I pride myself on developing several downright weird but wonderful varieties, such as my Beer Sauerkraut Jelly, and take pleasure creating unique but delicious taste sensations. All products are still hand made and hand packaged in my Yummies kitchen in Baysville, Muskoka.
Together with my team of Yummies' Gals, I generally cook 3 days a week, attend Muskoka Farmers' Market 2 days a week and help to man our on site Gallery and our seasonal shop in downtown Baysville on my "days off". It's a hectic life style but after 25 years, I still love what I do and thank my wonderful customers (and husband) for their continued support.
We'd still love to see you in person but if you aren't heading to Muskoka and need your Yummies fix, our on-line store is the perfect alternative. We are also happy to look after the wrapping, packing and mailing of gifts of Yummies in a Jar to friends and relatives any where in Canada!
We hope you enjoy our Yummies in a Jar as much as we enjoy making them for you and thank you for checking out our new site!
Thank you, Lynn