If you have ever been to the Duke Farms Farmers Market, chances are you came across a booth for Jams by Kim, owned and operated by Kim Osterhoudt.
For the last seven years from May to November, Osterhoudt has been out there every Sunday showcasing her homemade jams to residents from the surrounding areas.
Making jam has been a lifelong passion for Osterhoudt, who opened up Jams by Kim in Hillsborough in 2009. Osterhoudt is currently a resident of nearby Piscataway.
From her savory Roasted Garlic and Sweet Onion Jam to her Blueberry and Lavender Jam, there are around 50 different varieties that Osterhoudt has available for people to use in a variety of ways.
“Customers tell me every week at the farmers market that they love my jam,” Osterhoudt said. “I appreciate them so much. It makes those long hot days in the kitchen worthwhile.”
One of Osterhoudt’s jam creations recently earned high honors for its amazing taste.
Osterhoudt was informed by the Good Food Foundation on Jan. 14 that her Peach and Ginger Jam won the first place prize in the preservation section for the Eastern Region as part of the organization’s 2022 Good Food Awards.
“I was so excited ” Osterhoudt said when she received the news. “I knew I was a finalist before I received the award. We had delicious peaches last year. The ginger gives it a sharp kick. It’s the perfect combination.”
The Good Food Foundation supports growers, ranchers, makers and merchants involved in the production of sustainable, community-conscious, naturally produced foods.
Its Good Food Awards honor the food crafters that meet the environmental and social responsibility standards of creating good food that brings people together and builds strong and healthy communities.
There are over 2,000 entries each year for a Good Food Awards that are graded out through a blind tasting process. For each category, three food crafters from each region (North, South, East, West and Central) are selected for the Good Food Award honor.
There were 233 award winners out of the 16 categories voted on this year.
Osterhoudt said she has been tempted for the past couple of years to enter her jams into the competition, but has decided against it because having to pay a $100 fee for each type of jam she would enter into the contest.
With the rules to enter this year allowing food crafters to have one free entry, Osterhoudt decided to go for it and enter her Peach and Ginger Jam, while also paying the $100 fee to enter her Blueberry Lemon Jam as well.
Receiving a Good Food Award meant a lot to Osterhoudt, especially since it came from a blind taste process by the Good Food Foundation committee.
“The fact that it tasted No. 1 in the region for the preserve category is the best recognition you can get,” she said. “That’s great to be known for.”
Osterhoudt credits her Peach and Ginger Jam getting the award to the “delicious” peaches she was able to purchase from Vacchiano Farm in Warren County.
Many ingredients that Osterhoudt uses in her jams are bought from local farms and small businesses she gets to interact with at the different farmers markets she attends.
Along with the Duke Farms Market, Osterhoudt can be seen at the West Windsor Community Farmers Market, Morris Winter Market and the Montclair Farmers Market.
Osterhoudt was supposed to be honored along with the other winners by the Good Food Foundation at a ceremony in San Francisco early this month, but the event was postponed until March due to the recent rise of COVID-19 cases.
Mayor Shawn Lipani and the Hillsborough Township Committee will pay tribute to Osterhoudt’s Good Food Award by presenting a proclamation at the next council meeting on Feb. 8.
Since she was 12 years old, Osterhoudt has enjoyed making jam with family and friends. Those moments have led to Osterhoudt making her lifelong passion into a career and now she can add being a nationwide award winner to her journey.
“I’m so happy,” Osterhoudt said. “I love making jam. I’m very happy to be getting all this recognition.”
To learn more about Jams by Kim and how to purchase any of its products, visit https://jamsbykim.com.