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We caught up with jam experts and Split partners, Jessica Quon and Sabrina Valle, to get the sticky details of their journey from college pals to co-founders of Brooklyn-based flavor factory, The Jam Stand.

Guys! Thanks for hanging. Let's start with the origin story of the Jam Stand – are you guys life-long jammers?

Not even close! We met as undergrads at the University of Florida, and we always shared a love for learning new and random things… knitting, crafting, and so on. Maybe we just have an affinity for "grandma" activities? One day, we decided to try our hand at making jam! We had no experience, no childhood memories, just raw enthusiasm and a desire to try something new.

So, that clearly worked!

Totally – we fell in love with the process and the freedom it gave us to mess with new fruits, flavors, and combinations. We were in Brooklyn when the food scene there was really blowing up, so it didn't feel too crazy to take a shot at turning it into an actual business. Plus, we were able to find inspiration from all these super-talented chefs and bakers cropping up all over the city.

Ok I have to ask - jam vs. jelly vs. fruit spread vs. preserves… what's the difference?

(Laughter) This is definitely the question we get asked most. It's pretty simple… until it's not. Jelly is made from cooked fruit juice, sugar, and usually pectin, helping to keep it firm and, well... jelly-like. Jam and preserves are both made from actual fruit (not just the juice) cooked with sugar.

To the common jam-eater like myself, it might seem like jam has "been done" - that there's no more room for innovation. How do you guys keep it fresh?

It's been almost a decade of jam-making, so you'd think we would start running out of ideas, but we're constantly finding new sources of inspiration. We're our own target market, so we stay tuned to the world of food and drink, and whenever we find a cool combination or come across a new ingredient, we see if we can make our twist on it.

We're also constantly making progress in shaking up the world of grocery as a whole, proving that things don't have to be done the same way forever. It's frustrating sometimes, but really rewarding when we break through.

With all that experimenting, there have to have been some failed flavors.

Oof… we generally have pretty good judgement, believe it or not, but there have definitely been some flops. Of course, there have been flavors that we liked that didn't really sell for whatever reason, but one flavor that stands out is pineapple cilantro. We thought, "oh, this might be cool, and light, and tropical, but with a little kick". Nope. Looked pretty much how you'd think pineapple and cilantro jam would look, and tasted sooo awful. It was sticky in the wrong ways and clumpy and gross. Never again.

How did you come across split and decide to get involved?

It was really a match made in heaven – we had been in the jam manufacturing world for quite some time and were recommended to Jeff and the Split team via a previous partner. We absolutely loved the concept, obviously, and were excited to get involved as both jam suppliers for, and partners in, Split.

The idea was new and exciting to us, and there was definitely no shortage of testing and perfecting before we arrived at the finished product in packs today.

Now that it's been a little while, how has split made its way into your life?

Most of the split team and ambassadors are really active... like, really active. Cycling, running, playing basketball, and that's awesome, but our jam is to learn how to make things with our hands and try new things creatively.

Split has really become a go-to midday snack for us, and it's exciting because it's a whole new use case for our jam. Rather than something for grandmas or little kids, people can see jam as a performance snack, as something for athletes and active people, and that's pretty cool for us.

It's a little known fact that there was a Split jingle making the rounds a while back, something like "doo do doo do, it’s time for a split!"... the song didn't catch on (thankfully), but it's totally become a routine for us. 3:00 PM rolls around and one of us will just start humming and then shout "it’s time for a split!". Because, you know... it really is time for a Split.

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