WALKING into Pamilla Albert’s living room, one can’t help but breathe in the delightful aroma of fresh fruits.
There is a Christmas feel in the air as one enjoys the wonderful smell of crushed berries being cooked coming from the kitchen.
Pam, as she is known to her family and friends, takes about two hours to cook a batch of jam and uses only fresh fruits and organic sugar.
Born and bred in Kuala Lumpur, the former administrator of a medical equipment supply business turned her leisure pursuit into a thriving local business.
Most people who live in and around Kuala Lumpur are familiar with Pam’s Cakes & Jams that sells an assortment of fruit jams and cakes.
“I found a recipe book called Preserves by The Australian Women’s Weekly at an expat bazaar 15 years ago and immediately fell in love with it.
“It had recipes for jams, jellies, chutneys and pickles, and I began experimenting with the dark plum fruit jam which was an instant hit among family and friends.
“A jar of that dark plum jam will finish in three days, mostly eaten by my husband who likes to have it with toast, ” she said.
Her jam has a generous amount of fruits, and less sugar than commercially-made varieties.
Pam thought her hobby was just to make homemade jams without additives for her family and friends. But later, she was told they made great gifts and after much prompting from her sister, she started a small business.
She makes batches of jams in the kitchen at her condominium and is always experimenting with other fruits.
“I make jams like strawberry, orange cinnamon marmalade, plum cherry apple, mango, Australian apricot, raspberry, dark plum and blueberry.
“But most people’s favourite is the orange cinnamon marmalade while many also love the new combination jams like strawberry with chia seeds and pineapple with dates, ” she said.
Demand for Pam’s jams has grown by word-of-mouth and she personally delivers them to customers, sells at bazaars and in church and even ships them for outstation orders.
She cooks the jam using the traditional open-pot method in small quantities and is working to include more fruit combinations to keep her customers happy.
“November and December are the busiest period as it is holiday season.
“It is exciting to try out different fruits as the sky is the limit in making jams, ” she said, adding that dabbling with new recipes was her favourite part of running the business.
Pam uses organic cane sugar as it is healthier than table sugar.
“It is a trend now to use cane sugar as customers want a product with quality ingredients.
“This is what I am trying to do, which is to make healthy natural fruit jams that even a baby can eat, ” she said.
Pam dreams of opening her own cafe one day.
“I also bake cakes and popular varieties include Ceylonese fruitcake, ginger fruitcake, dark english fruitcake as well as black and white fruitcake, ” she said.
Pursuing her dreams makes life more exciting, she said.
“Success is having bold dreams and putting in effort to make them come true, ” she added.
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