Blue Chair Fruit Company is the premier artisanal jam and marmalade company in the United States. Located in Oakland, CA, Blue Chair Fruit has redefined preserving through our distinctive brand of modern nostalgia and our exacting approach to fruit and flavors. Our highest priority is using organic and sustainably grown fruit from local growers, and preserving that vibrant fruit flavor by utilizing traditional methods and modern taste sensibilities. In all aspects of our company, from the contents of each jar to packaging to our online presence to the definitive Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, Blue Chair Fruit has reinvented preserving for the modern age.
What Makes Blue Chair Fruit Different?
Jam and marmalade have come back into style over the past couple of years, and artisanal jam and marmalade companies are cropping up all over. However, Blue Chair Fruit stands head and shoulders above the rest. Both the quality and variety of our offerings set us apart.
Founded by Rachel Saunders in February 2008, Blue Chair Fruit is the product of nearly ten years of intensive research on fruit and fruit preserving techniques. Long before jam and marmalade came back into style, Rachel was slaving away in her tiny kitchen perfecting every possible jam and marmalade technique. Rachel waited until she had completely mastered her craft before launching Blue Chair Fruit. Rachel’s complete mastery of preserving enables BCF to constantly offer new flavors, working with the widest possible array of fruits and producing between 50 and 100 flavors per year. In the world of artisanal jam and marmalade, Blue Chair Fruit represents the pinnacle of quality and creativity.
Blue Chair Fruit is famous for its unusual flavors, which range from simple (Greengage Jam, Lime Marmalade) to complex (Quince-Orange Marmalade, Orange-Kumquat Marmalade with Cardamom & Saffron). Our goal is always to showcase the flavors of fruit first. The hallmarks of Blue Chair Fruit’s preserves are their exquisite texture, subtle balance of flavors, and perfect tart-sweet balance. Blue Chair Fruit joyfully explores the entire range of local fruits, both everyday and exotic; examples of the latter include apriums (an apricot-plum hybrid), tayberries (a black raspberry-loganberry hybrid), Pink Pearl apples (a pink-fleshed heirloom), white guavas, and bergamots.
What is the Blue Chair Fruit Process?
Blue Chair Fruit makes all of its jams and marmalades entirely by hand. Our tiny kitchen team of Rachel, her sous chef Jo, and their assistant Chris produces upwards of 1,000 jars per week. We use local sustainably farmed fruit for nearly all of our preserves, and work extensively with local farmers. Connecting farmers to the public through promoting heirloom and hybrid varieties is a vital part of our mission. Blue Chair Fruit’s preserves are cooked in tiny batches in traditional French copper jam kettles so as to achieve the best flavor possible.
The History of Blue Chair Fruit
Since its founding in 2008, Blue Chair Fruit has grown exponentially. Rachel worked two day jobs plus running the company at the beginning, but now BCF is a full-time endeavor with five employees and a growing roster of offerings. In 2010, Rachel started offering jam and marmalade classes at BCF’s Oakland kitchen and nationally. In that same year, BCF started selling French copper jam pans and other hard-to-find essentials for home canners. BCF has also grown its online presence dramatically and received numerous accolades, becoming the go-to resource for all things jam- and marmalade-related.
The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook
The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook was released in September 2010. The product of Rachel’s ten years of extensive research on jam and marmalade making, this revolutionary book is the definitive modern guide to preserving. Nearly 400 pages long, with over 120 recipes, a glossary of fruits, and an extensive technical section, The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook is the essential modern resource for the home or professional canner and a monument to the art of making jam and marmalade. Our cookbook has received wide acclaim, including a James Beard Foundation Award nomination for best food photography.
Blue Chair Fruit Thinks Green
In addition to sourcing our fruit directly from local organic farms, Blue Chair Fruit uses only reusable metal tasting spoons at our farmers' market stands, and we have also instituted a successful jar return program. At each market, we offer jar return cards, enabling you to bring your used jars back to us. You can return your jars one at a time or all at once, whichever is best for you. For every twelve jars returned, you will be eligible to receive a free jam or marmalade of your choice!