Harper’s Harvest was started by Sheryl McKeown in November of 2013, which began as and continues to be “love in a jar”. Although their claim to fame is Award Winning Gourmet Jam and Chutney.
A Certified Public Bookkeeper, running her own company (The Accountables) since 1998, she started making jam as a hobby and giving it as gifts to friends, family and bookkeeping clients – to rave reviews. However, it was not until the Pear Chutney won the first place blue ribbon in the 2013 California State Fair (having never entered before) that she started thinking there might be something here. The Apricot Curry Chutney took third the same year.
Sheryl’s long term relationship with a cowboy named Wiley Harper provided the perfect name for the business. What does an entrepreneur do at that point but create a logo, slap a label on it and see if anyone wants to buy it. And they’re so grateful you did!
Having learned and acquired all the permits and licensing to operate in both their home in Calaveras County and a commercial kitchen in Sacramento, they have continued to grow, learn and enjoy this journey.
Wiley, a construction superintendent is the most proud supporter; peeling, chopping, loading, unloading, setting up, breaking down. He is also the official taste tester, helping create unique flavor suggestions like the Black & Straw (yes, that is his creation!) What a team they make!
Sheryl’s greatest joy is both creating new products and the excitement they generate at the tasting station provided at fairs and festivals. When they took the chance on the Pear Fair in Courtland July 2014, it was quite a nail biter! Harper family members volunteered to help “man the booth” – it was the first time they thought they might need “staff”. Opening at 9am – to their delighted surprise, the crowd was lined up 10 deep at the tasting station all day – and purchasing the items!
The unique flavors such as Strawberry Rose(mary) (3rd place 2014 California State Fair), Apricot Basil (2nd place 2014 California State Fair) and Pine-Gerine – all Harper’s Harvest originals, are the cornerstone of Harper’s Harvest, but what does it taste like and how do you use it? This is the fun part – they love to hear how YOU use the products, share it with other customers and provide a tasting station so you can get as excited as they are. The products speak for themselves…