Friends jam-packed with ideas for new venture
LIFE-long friends Sarah Billows and Rhonda Lawry-Griffiths are now business partners too – after starting a jam-making enterprise together.
The women have spread out and launched Mayflower Maid marketing their home-made jams, curds, butter and chutney.
Friends since schooldays, Mrs Lawry-Griffiths, from Plympton, said they got the idea for a business after making jam for family and friends.
"It was so well received we took it forward," she said.
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The pair met as children at the old Plymstock Secondary School, and even worked together as teaching assistants at Tor Bridge High, in Estover.
Mrs Billows, who had moved into teaching, gave up her job to make the jam.
"We're experimenting with different flavours," she Mrs Billows, from Plymstock. "It's about working out what's going to sell and what's going to work.
"We've done trade stands in Plymouth, everything has sold. Now we want to do it full time.
"And, because we are very much alike, we're doing it together.
"We can make up to 150 jars a week."
Mrs Lawry-Griffiths said the business prided itself on creating home-made produce, using blackberries and apples picked wild, for instance, and eggs from hens at Mrs Billows' small holding.
"It's a labour of love," Mrs Lawry-Griffiths said.
"We even took it into school," she said. "We started teaching the kids, which was teaching them to start their own business, to produce a product, and sell it."
Mrs Billows said the pair were now taking the Mayflower Maid brand to retailers, and the jams are already for sale at JR Serpell and Sons' Blackpool Farm, at Yealmpton.
"We're looking to go into hotels and more shops," said Mrs Lawry-Griffiths.