Photo by Ryan Larkin
Abby Waller (left) and Lindsay Larkin are jamming out with local and organic jams, pickles and salsas
You know how you and your best friend sometimes sit around and wax poetic about the fun little company you’d love to start together, but then you never do it? Take heart, because Abby Waller and Lindsay Larkin, pals since middle school, actually did it. And they’re doing it very well. Their little jam company, Dayum This is My Jam (A.K.A. Dayum Jam), relies on local and organic fruits and a bevy of music-related puns to make sweet-seeking customers very happy.
Both women hail from the nonprofit sector: Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or SPCA, for Waller, and the Medical Society of Virginia for Larkin. They love doing good work, but wanted to do something together, something creative. “We were having a particular dreamy day, and I said, ‘I wish we could have our own business. What are we good at?’" Waller says. "[Larkin] mentioned how she wished she could sell the jam she makes at the Lakeside Farmers' Market — it’s where I go every Saturday for veggies and eggs. I knew immediately that I’d love to do that with her, even just to hang out with her more often. So me and my wife and her and her husband all started really talking. We just decided to go for it.” And go for it they did, starting in July of this year. There are even matching berry and herb tattoos in the works.
Each jam flavor is named after a song title: There’s Bohemian Raspberry, Nothing Compears 2 U, Strawberry Zeal Forever, Papa Don’t Peach and lots more. Though they collaborate on everything, Waller is the name-gamer and Larkin is the recipe-maker, drawing inspiration from her great-grandmother and her family's private cookbook filled with her granny's recipes. When the pair can’t get fruit from local producers, they make sure what they can get is coming from a reputable organic farm. Not everything is sweet; they also make dill pickles and two flavors of salsa.
"One of us said, 'Damn, THIS is my jam,'" remembers Waller, "And we fell in love with the idea of naming our jams after songs. We also joke that our jam is 'jam infused,' and by that we mean that whenever me and Lindsay make our jam we play music the whole time. We have fun with it and we really want people to get a kick out of our creations."
“Jam Sessions,” their term for their in-person sales, are the place to sample any and all of their products and pick up a few jars — next up is this weekend’s Holly Jolly event in Lakeside. Holiday festivities will take place on Lakeside Avenue on Friday night from 5 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon, and you might just get a preview of their limited edition holiday products, including the Feast of Bourbon cranberry compote or the Jingle Berry Rock: their limited-edition triple-berry flavor featuring strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and holiday spices. They’ll also be serving up warm cups of from-scratch apple cider. You can also pick up the perfect gift for hard-to-please loved ones: a Dayum Jam “mix tape” gift box with four sample-size jams inside.
Not around this weekend? You can also buy their products online at dayumjam.com, including Waller’s favorites — Comfortably Plum and Bohemian Raspberry — and Larkin’s: the basil-laced Berry Thought of Blue.