By Tanya Henry
If it weren’t for California’s 2013 Cottage Food Act, Diane Rylander might still be pursuing a career in advertising. Instead, the Mill Valley resident and mother of two now heads to the Marin Farmers’ Market in San Rafael on most Thursdays to select ingredients for her handmade line of jams that she has dubbed Jammit Marin.
“I’ve never had to use my personal money for the jams,” explains Rylander, who was lucky enough to qualify for a $4,000 food grant awarded by Whole Foods Market, which paid for jars, labeling and printing. In the fall of 2014, she launched her first batch.
Prior to settling in Marin, the Oregon native came to San Francisco in the mid ’90s and went to work for the famed Hal Riney & Partners advertising agency. There she met her husband, an art director, and in 1999 they moved to Mill Valley. Rylander’s artistic husband has created the handsome, clean labels that adorn each jar of Jammit Marin.
Even though Rylander is an avid cook and baker, she enrolled in a culinary workshop offered by happy girl kitchen co. to learn more about jam-making. “I only make flavors that I would want to eat; I use the lowest amount of sugar possible and the ingredients have to be local and seasonal,” she says. Typically making batches of 60 8-ounce jars at a time, she sells her line at Sausalito’s Cibo, TASTE Kitchen + Table in Fairfax, Mill Valley’s Juice Girl, Comforts in San Anselmo and Belcampo in Larkspur.
Rylander’s business is growing, and she’s considering moving it into a commercial kitchen and expanding distribution beyond Marin. Either way, she says that she’s found her tribe—farmers, entrepreneurs and fellow food-makers. And Rylander is sure that she’ll continue to do what she loves—make jam.
Jammit Marin; jammitmarin.com.