The Little Hand-Stirred Jam Shop, Berrima

Berrima is such a delightful and small country town where every building seems to have either colonial history or good produce or both.  It’s such a small town that it’s very easy to walk through and so Carl and I took a leisurely stroll and meandered through a lot of the stores that line the sides of the main street.

Where is the Damson Jam?

Where is the Damson Jam?

One of the shops we loved was The Little Hand-Stirred Jam Shop.  The shop sells a large variety of high quality country produce that’s all beautifully presented inside a shop that was once the residence of the man who owned the antique store, further up the road.  The antique store is now closed but the jam store is thriving.

When we were there a couple arrived with their two small children (14 months apart) and they were delivering chutneys they had made on their property.  Everything seems to be proudly locally made and it’s great to see store-owners supporting local suppliers.

So many choices

So many choices

The shop sells a fine selection of jams, condiments, mustards, sauces and pure Australian honey with many products made on the premises.  We bought quite a few things including creamed honey, honeycomb honey, chilli jam, blood orange marmalade and lemon curd.  All products were made on the premises or by locals living in the town.

Where is the Damson Jam?

Where is the Damson Jam?

I love shopping like this.  The big chain supermarkets just cannot compete with this kind of an experience.  I was greeted by the store’s owner who warmly greeted me like I was a VIP and enthusiastically gave me information on all the products I was interested in buying and those not on my radar.

A lot of honey

I love the white-washed walls

Like Damson Plum Jam.  The Damson plum is about the size of your thumb nail and it’s sweet but also tart.  These plums are hard to find and difficult to source but if you can find them, they make the most amazing and addictive jam.  They are small and sour when fresh, but make the absolute best plum jam in the world.  Unfortunately, Damsons are clingstone and can’t be pitted before the cooking starts so it’s quite a process to make the jam as you have to fish out the pits as the jam cooks.  From the challenges of sourcing the plums to the difficulties of making the jam, Damson plum jam is definitely a rare find, a labour of love and an absolute treat.

Now…after being given a taste of Damson jam, I bought a jar.  Somehow, it hasn’t made it back to Sydney.  Where do things like this go?  So many of my possessions know the art of a good disappearing act.  Another reason to return to Berrima!

A lot of honey

A lot of honey

I was also told about the bad season bee farmers endured last year with so many bees dying due to an unseasonably warm Spring followed by days of rain that stripped the blossoms from the trees and plants leaving the bees with nothing to eat.  As sad as this story is, it’s lovely to talk to vendors who know the history of how their goods are produced and how seasonal factors can alter the end result.

Wandering around the store

Wandering around the store

But the Little Hand-Stirred Jam Shop doesn’t just sell conserves; there’s an ice cream shop that sells a lot of Serendipity ice cream and if you like rum and raisin flavour, it’s real rum that’s added, not rum essence.  I managed to get a photo of Carl being handed his double scoop of ice cream!

Couldn't leave without an ice cream

Couldn’t leave without an ice cream

The Little Hand-Stirred Jam Shop:  9 Old Hume Highway, Berrima NSW 2577

Ph:  02 4877 1404

Comments

  1. A little local jam shop sounds so lovely!! I would have had a hard time not buying one of each kind!

  2. it all sounds lovely. how awful about the poor bees!

  3. I’d love that shop! Hand stirred jam is a clever niche.

  4. Such a quaint and jam-filled town 😀
    Deliciousness at every corner!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  5. I can never leave a shop like that without buying something. Isn’t it nice it’s supporting local producers too.

  6. Yum, Yum, YUM! oh and you bough Chilli Jam… I will have to send you a bottle of mine, so you can compare 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Liz x

  7. How sad for the bees…but what a lovely little shop. And yummy little goodies, too! 😉 xo

  8. Kind of scary been hearing about the bees, this year was not a good on for them in the U.S. either. Love your specialty jam shop, their packaging is lovely.

  9. Is there anything better than one-of-a-kind Mom and Pop stores? You are so lucky, Charlie, to have such a wealth of unique shopping opportunities near you.

  10. I am also quite fond of those sorts of shops and though I don’t usually eat a lot of jam I like picking up several jars of intriguing flavours to taste. My dad wanted to raise bees on their property after he retired but never got around to it. I still remember the joys of eating honey out of the comb from my childhood.

  11. Nice! I’m with you, big chains have nothing on these small stores that add their personal touch! Really like their packaging!

  12. What a lovely little shop Charlie! It is nice to know the story behind your food. With families making small batches of goodies from seasonal produce, there must always be new flavours to try- definitely a good reason to revisit Berrima xox

  13. How lovely!

  14. This sounds like such a neat little shop. I love to get away from the impersonal supermarket experience as well, but I must admit that the rum raisin ice cream is what really caught my eye!

  15. I love hand crafted jams! Have you checked under the car seats for the elusive jar?

  16. A lovely jam store with endless possibilities & combinations of fruit & spices etc! I love it too! And how about a lovely special ice-cream on the way out? Yes, please! xxx

  17. You’re right, supermarkets can’t compare at all. Even though I don’t have jam that regularly (as I don’t have toast that regularly), there is something about a good jam / preserve shop that gets me very excited! I find myself looking for reasons to eat their jam as the flavours can be so enticing.

  18. What a beautiful store – I would love to walk through and buy something I wouldn’t ordinarily see in another store.
    Have a happy day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  19. This looks like my dream shop. I don’t think I would have left with fewer items. You know what’s funny… creamed honey always seems to come in a square jar. Why is that do you think? Sorry the special jam didn’t make it home.

  20. Just loved this! What a great shop. I bet I could spend hours there and a few $$!

  21. Lovely store Charlie…quaint and elegant. You are right, the experience of these stores just don’t match with any other shopping experience. Chilli jam and creamed honey…how interesting.

  22. This looks like my kind of shop! I went to Berrima once about 100 years ago and loved it – it’s a very nice little spot.

  23. What a wonderful way to shop! I agree with you about it being a sad story about the bees but that it’s lovely to be able to chat to those who know these thing.

  24. I love all kinds of jam and their packaging! You said most amazing jam, it must be so good! They sell honey in honey comb, too! It’s rare and I like that. 🙂

  25. Lovely post, it makes me want to drive straight there.

  26. Racheal says:

    I went into this shop with my sister and we fell in love with it and walked out with two boxes of goodies to bring home. All the jams and sauces were of the highest quality.

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