I began making jam in 1995 after moving from Sydney to Melbourne to continue my training as an Opera singer. Plans went awry, when I fell ill with tonsillitis. I was holed up in my tiny rooftop bungalow in Elwood recuperating when I took my hand to jam unwittingly building my own little jam empire, Jam Lady Jam. A friend would visit with bags of fruit for my health and I would turn it into jars of exotic jam for my heart. I'd never made jam before but it completely fulfilled my desires of a creative life. I loved the tenderness of the fruit, it's coming of age, the aromatics and rifling through my spice tins. I came up with some fun names, and figured if it sounded good it would taste good!
I began supplying friends and cafes with my exotic concoctions and now Jam Lady Jam supplies cafes, restaurants, bakeries, bars and grocery stores from the top to the tail of the East Coast of Australia.
Healesville is now my home and my heart. When I moved my partner, chef Richard Hauptmann and I built a BIG commercial kitchen on our property where we produce mountains of jam and host "epi-curious" workshops.
Our jams, relishes and vinegars have won gold and bronze medals and I often now judge the Melbourne Food Awards Jams and Relishes.
And opera singing? Well, I am a theatrical person, so I still sing and always when I cook.
Jam Lady Jam is a maker of exotic jams and condiments, handmade in Healesville, Victoria by Lisa O'Connor. With our unique recipes combining fresh locale and seasonal fruit and exotic spices, Jam Lady Jams are deliciously aromatic and retain the natural texture of the fruit. We make a bespoke jam with local seasonal produce and Australian Sugar, without preservatives or additives ensuring you experience the genuine feel and taste of our fresh fruit and spices in every jar. Quality and authenticity is at the heart of our product. There are no additives, preservatives or added pectin, just fruit, Australian sugar, and me in a good mood…which I think is the key ingredient.