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life is a bowl of cherries and other delicious fruits at yoder homestyle jams


August 2007


“Jam may not be a major food group — you only use a little dollop,” said Jim Farber, owner of Yoder Homestyle Jams. “But it’s a great sweetener for everything from ice cream to waffles — and beyond.”


The small family business of Yoder Homestyle Jams in Liberty, Kentucky, is benefiting from the nation’s sweet tooth, and in particular its growing desire for home-style products and natural sweeteners. In the 1990s, Yoder Jams was a pioneer in the development of a process that uses fruit juice instead of sugar as a sweetener, and it’s continued to grow steadily as a distributor of home-style and sugar-free jams and natural butters that are “like going home to Grandma’s.”


Jim and Susan Farber bought Yoder Jams in 2003 because they had always wanted to try a home-based business. They tried moving the business from its original Flemingsburg, Kentucky location to Ohio, where they were living, but soon found that wouldn’t work. They moved with their three daughters to Liberty, Kentucky in April 2005, using a microloan from MACED to help them with the new facility.


Since then, the business has continued to grow, expanding its distribution beyond Kentucky to Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Indiana. In March 2007, they received another small loan from MACED to help with the expansion.


Yoder Homestyle Jams has always been a family business. The Farbers are not Amish, but they create their natural products using fruits, juices and pectin, following the same Amish recipes and non-automated production techniques that have been in use since the business began in the early 1990s. Once the products are created, they are distributed to small grocery stores, farmer’s markets, state park shops and specialty food wholesalers.


The entire Farber family has been involved with the business in one form or another. Though the Farber’s oldest daughter, Ann, is now married and has moved, their middle daughter, Marolyn, helps out when she’s home from college. Their youngest daughter, Laura, 11, helps out, too.


That’s the strength of the MACED microloan program, said Greg Doyle, MACED’s senior lender. “These types of loans are not only a way to help strengthen businesses but also the business’s support of the family.”


To order some delicious Yoder Homestyle Jams, contact James or Susan Farber at 606-787-1588.