5 Mins with Drunken Sailor Jams
From Peach, Vanilla & Brandy to Pineapple to Coconut & Rum Jam - Justin Arnoux’s Drunken Sailor Jams are unlike anything you’ll find on the supermarket shelf.
Experimenting with daring flavour combinations, the Eastern Suburbs startup is stirring up the condiments aisle.
After putting on an amazing 3 o’clock spread recently for Gravity Sydney – we wanted to find out more about the man behind the jam.
Can you tell us a bit about your business background – what you studied, where you worked?
I studied event management but never really got into it. When I left school I got a job as a delivery driver for a food distribution company so I could save money to go overseas. Gradually worked my way up to management where I was in constant contact with café’s, restaurants and chefs.
How did you get into the jam making business?
Working in food distribution, being passionate about food and my parents also working in the food industry it was only a matter of time before I would get into something to do with producing food. The idea of starting a jam company came out of a discussion I had with a friend over a few glasses of wine. Next thing I knew I was experimenting with different flavours and registering my business.
How long have you been in business?
I have been doing it for about 2 ½ years now.
Where did you get the name “Drunken Sailor Jams”?
I wanted a really fun name and something that was totally different to the traditional jam names that makes you think “Grannys Jam”. My Grandfather was really sick at the time and he was a WW11 sailor so it was to honour him a little bit.
Knowing what you know now what advice would you give to yourself starting Drunken Sailor Jams?
Do as much research as you can about industry, always learn from your mistakes and make sure you’re having fun.
Have you ever tried a coworking space or something similar and what do you think of the concept?
Yes, I’ve worked out of share kitchens and it’s a great way to get started without having to pay the full rent of your own space.
What’s the beset piece of advice you have received?
“Don’t quit your day job” - I think when starting out its good to test the waters first and not jump completely into it. When I first started I was working on Drunken Sailor when I got home from my full time job. This gave me the opportunity to slowly build momentum while still having a steady income.
What advice would you give to people looking to give up their own day job and start their own business?
Before you give up anything you want to make sure it’s something you can see yourself doing in the long run. I think to create a good business you need to be having fun, otherwise why do it?
What does the future hold for Drunken Sailor Jams?
My next step is savoury mustards and relishes. Long term goal is to one day open up a little café attached to the production kitchen.
For Drunken Sailor Jams full range, online store and retailers click here.