Chippenham woman turns jam-making hobby into fruitful business
A Chippenham woman who turned her hobby into a business has found it a fruitful venture.
Trina Swan, who set up Tiddleywink Treats last August, started out by giving homemade jam as Christmas presents.
She picked blackberries from her family’s land in the hamlet of Tiddleywink.
Encouraged by the response of her friends and the winner of a hamper she supplied as a raffle prize, eight years later she decided to launch a business. She said: “I’ve been really pleased how successful it’s been.”
Ms Swan, 45, also uses fruit from her friends’ gardens to make her jams and chutneys in her Deansway home.
Keeping ingredients local where she can, she also makes gin from the sloes on her land.
But for mango chutney – one of Ms Swan’s best-selling products – she does have to look abroad. With one kilo of mangoes making only three small jars, it is not cheap.
And Ms Swan, who works full-time on the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency support desk, said the work was also time-consuming.
She said: “My other half didn’t see me much from July, when I registered with the council, until Christmas.
"I was in the kitchen every night until 10pm or 11pm building up my stocks for the farmers’ markets.”
Her personal favourite is Seville orange marmalade.
But the season for the bitter Seville oranges is short, from December to February, so she is busy now making enough marmalade for the year.
Ms Swan said she likes to make “out-of-the-ordinary” things and her range includes tayberry and gooseberry jams, zesty blueberry marmalade and damson chutney.
She sells her goods at Malmesbury Farmers’ Market on the second Saturday of the month and Chippenham Farmers’ Markets on the second Sunday of the month, as well as in the Yatton Keynell village store.
Kington St Michael village store stocks her garlic and lemon-flavoured olive oils.