When Cape Smokey began envisioning what we wanted the gift shop to look like, Martin had one set theme: Blueberry.
Absolutely determined to incorporate this Nova Scotia favourite flavour into SOMETHING, our CEO spent more than a year in search of a local company that could work with us to create tasty blueberry treats for our visitors. He wanted to know that visitors to Destination Cape Smokey could walk away with something truly Nova Scotian.
After receiving a jar of jam in a gift box, Martin had found the perfect company. Margaret, Larry, and their HaryWares jam.
We chatted a little with Margaret, to bring you some of their story.
Tell us a brief history of HardyWares (your founding story)!
I purchased Larry a home canning kit for Christmas in 2005, but he didn’t use it right away. I threatened to sell it if he didn’t put it to use. He then took the hint and practiced with some homemade jams, relishes, and pickles from some old recipes that were passed down.
We gave them as Christmas Gifts in 2007. Everyone raved and suggested Larry set up at a Farmer’s Market; So the following year he did, and the first day we sold just 8 jars. I encouraged Larry not to give up.
He continued, and soon we had a repeat clientele, we re-invested all of our earnings as we were both working full time and didn’t need the revenue.
Within a few years we expanded to a second table, and were attending festivals, events, and large craft shows.
Our list of flavours grew from 8 to over 40 varieties!
By 2014, we were a registered business, and started to wholesale our preserves.
By 2021, our preserves are currently in over 40 establishments from Cape Smokey to Yarmouth.
However large we have grown, we remain true to our brand, small batches, traditional recipes with love and care in every jar.
Do either of you ski/board?
We don’t ski/board, but I am the most excited person in Nova Scotia to go on this Gondola ride, can’t wait!! The Gondola and the Tree Walk is one of the most exciting things to happen in Atlantic Canada for a long time.
Is there anything unique about the Jam you’ve created for Cape Smokey?
The blueberry jam is made in small batches, just 7 at a time. We use local, wild blueberries from Forest Hills Farms.
Did Martin have anything specific he was looking for that surprised, excited, or concerned you?
We had a funny communication moment! He told us he was looking for a marmalade, so we brought all of our “marmalades” for him to sample: English, Beer, Whisky, Blueberry & Christmas Jam.
We soon learned that Martin refers to all jam as marmalade, and he actually was looking for a blueberry jam. He had to go to a local store and buy a jar of blueberry jam to sample!
Margaret, we are so thankful to have found your wonderful company. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! We are thrilled to have your delectable Blueberry Jam in our gift shop, and hope our visitors seek your products out in stores near them.
A couple products to be on the lookout for:
Margaret’s personal favourite: Ploughman’s Pickle
Larry’s personal favourite: Blueberry Jalapeno Jelly