INTERCOURSE, LANCASTER COUNTY—A Lancaster County Company is cooking up thousands of jars of jam a day. In this week's Made in PA, FOX43's Michael Gorsegner looks inside Kitchen Kettle Village where jams have been a passion for over 50 years.
Jam has been an Amish tradition for years but one Lancaster County company is taking preserves to a whole new level.
"It's not nostalgic the way it used to be but it's still a broad appeal," said owner Joanne Ladley.
Kitchen Kettle Village has been serving that broad appeal since 1954. What started as a small family business is now home to 75 different jams - relishes and salsas.
"Dad wanted to get into retail and have the people come to him. My mom thought he was crazy and now we have over 800,000 people that visit us every year," Ladley said.
All of Kitchen Kettle`s products are made at the store location. Two 60 gallon steam kettles boil up the jam of the day. On the menu today is blueberry.
"We come over to the kettle, put our blueberries and our Pectin in here, our sugar and we will also put the rest of the sugar in," said food scientist Kristine Grego.
Lots of sugar. Kitchen Kettle uses 50 tons of sugar a year to make their products. The agitator whips up the final product getting it ready for the jar.
"It's very similar to how people do it at home still," Grego said.
The jarring machine spits out up to 6,000 jars a day. After a lid and label, it`s time to hit the shelves.
Probably the best part of the whole process, just feet from where the products are made, you get to taste everything, all 75 products on hand, to see what you like or don't like. I am going to get a little Corn Relish, give it a try. That is pretty good.
"Our real advantage is that our end consumer is right here. So we don't have to go through a lot of channels," Ladley said.
The process has been relatively unchanged for years. Joanne Ladley is confident the business will continue to thrive.
"We don't know what it will look like but it will be fine. It will keep growing," said Ladley.
Besides the store, Kitchen Kettle Village also has a restaurant, 17 rooms and numerous shops. The Village is open all-year-round with the fall season being the busiest.