Fraser Doherty – aka ‘Jamboy’ – created Superjam™, a range of 100% pure fruit jams sweetened with grape juice and made using Super Fruits, such as blueberries and cranberries. His Gran taught him the secret recipes at the age of fourteen and thus Superjam was born in Edinburgh.
From humble beginnings, the company now supplies major UK supermarkets, has won a variety of awards and is even included in a museum exhibit as an example of an ‘Iconic Scottish Food Brand’.
Fraser hosts ‘SuperJam Tea Parties’, which were established by Doherty in 2008. The tea parties are for lonely elderly people who live alone or in care homes. The company reports to have run over 120 such events and growing (Edinburgh Spotlight was at a recent tea party – review and photos to follow).
Superjam really is an excellent product and I have to replace the jars in my cupboard regularly. Next time you are in a supermarket which stocks it (Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Budgens, Booths and soon Sainsburys in Scotland) pick up a jar and taste the 100% fruit jam which started life in Edinburgh.
Could you tell us a little more about the tea parties that you host around the UK?
It was my Grandmother who taught me to make jam at the age of fourteen and so running tea parties for the elderly is, I suppose, my way of giving back to my Gran’s generation. When I was a kid, she always took my brother and I to visit elderly people in her local area and so I was inspired to try and do something like that on a bigger scale. For over a year, we have been running tea parties across the UK, with live music, dancing and, inevitably, scones and SuperJam. We’ve had over 120 tea parties so far and the whole thing just keeps growing and growing. The biggest events have attracted over 600 guests!
You are going to raise money to host these tea parties by cycling the length of Britain. How is the training coming along and when is this going to happen?
I never did any sport growing up and actually only recently bought a bicycle. The plan is to cycle from Edinburgh to London, which is about 400 miles. I have an amazing personal trainer, Stephen from Egreen Fitness. Without his coaching, training, mentoring and advice this isn’t something I would ever be able to do.
The Superjam story is being heard worldwide as you travel and give talks and presentations, how have you been received?
If I had told my fourteen year old self that my jam making hobby would grow into a company supplying supermarkets across the UK, I would never have believed it. I definitely wouldn’t have imagined that I would then be invited to speak in the Caribbean, at Columbia University in New York, in Beijing and even at Disneyland about my story!
Any funny stories from these events or from on the road you wish to share?
Meeting Mickey Mouse was definitely a highlight.
You are very successful at such a young age, what is your advice for other young entrepreneurs?
I think that my story hopefully shows you that something anyone could start in the kitchen, bedroom or garage with a bit of hard work, imagination and good support from the people around them could grow into something amazing. Something that changes their lives and gives them an amazing adventure. The best advice I can give is to try.
When you return from your travels abroad, what’s the thing you love most about returning to Edinburgh?
I enjoy being able to walk in the countryside or up Arthur’s Seat to get a bit of peace. Of course I also like catching up with my old friends.
And what is your favourite way to eat Superjam?
I eat it on my porridge every morning.