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 `Jamkle’: Meet Kashmir’s pickle woman whose organic products have taken Swiggy, Gatoes by storm

February 10, 2024
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Srinagar: Nava Shah, 32, never allowed her inner desire to fade away.

Despite being a wife and mother of two, she decided to challenge the stereotypes and try her hand at entrepreneurship. Leaving a cushy teaching job, she started making and selling pickles and jams.

“I was a teacher, but it was not my calling. I never felt that teaching was my true passion. Instead, I always wanted to start my own business,” she said.

Nava used to be a brilliant chef at her home, creating new delicacies every day. “I used to enjoy cooking as well as trying out new recipes. I used to prepare a variety of jams for my family, friends, and relatives and everyone used to enjoy tasting it,” she said.

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Nava had always intended to open a business selling her delicious jams, but the seasonal changes in Kashmir were a challenge. “I had considered starting a jam business, but I eventually decided against it as it would not be profitable in the winter,” she said.

During her pregnancy, she had a craving for pickles. And this was enough to ingrain an idea to start a pickle business.

 “My desire to become an entrepreneur was never far from the back of my thoughts. I had a strong pickle craving during pregnancy, I thought why not start a pickle and jam business,” she said.

Enter 2021, Jamkle Jars was born. “I quit my work because I was eager to build a successful business of my own. I came up with the name Jamkle for my business because it is a combination of jam and pickle. My spouse and in-laws responded favorably and offered me their complete support to begin it,” she said

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 `Jamkle': Meet Kashmir’s pickle woman whose organic products have taken Swiggy, Gatoes by storm 6

 To gain public recognition for her jams and pickles, Nava began holding exhibitions for her pickles. “I began doing exhibitions, and people would come to taste my pickles and jams. People responded well to me, which gave me the motivation to keep working,” she said.

When demand grew, Nava expanded her business selling her jams and pickles on Swiggy and Gatoes in addition to Instagram ` Jamkle Jars’. “The pickle and jam went viral beyond what I could have imagined. We accept orders via Gatoes, Swiggy, and Instagram. We also sell our stuff in supermarkets. Our goods may be found at several department stores in Anantnag and Srinagar,” she said

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Strawberry jam, Mulberry jam, Peach jam, Apricot jam, Quince apple jam, and many more jam varieties are available at Jamkle Jars. There are many different types of Pickles, such as Cucumber, Beetroot, Mutton, Chicken, and Chili pickles. “People adore all varieties, but Mulberry jam and Chicken pickle rank among the best-sellers,” she said.

Such is the demand, Jamcle Jars get 50-100 orders per week. “We also get orders from weddings where we provide customized boxes and packaging,” she said.

Nava assured that all of the jams and pickles are handmade, using only fresh fruits and vegetables, with no compromise on quality. The customer’s health is also taken into consideration during the production process to ensure that everyone may enjoy the delicious flavor of our premium product.  

 “The Jams and Pickle of Jamkle Jars are free of chemicals, food coloring, and preservatives. Market competition was the last thing on my mind when I first launched my business; my only objective was to sell high-quality products. I don’t think pickles should be made overnight. Here, pickles are produced using a traditional process.,” she said.

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The price of jam starts from Rs250 – Rs280 whereas the price of pickle starts from Rs260 – Rs730. “After a buyer tastes my product, he realizes that the jam or pickle is worth the cost, which is why I host an increasing number of exhibitions so that people can sample our pickle firsthand. Our next show will be held in SKAUST during the upcoming Kissan Mela.,” she said.

Nava has employed three workers who help her in making jams and pickles. She is planning to expand and start her store. “ In sha Allah very soon I am thinking of starting my store of Jams and Jars,” she said.

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Avatar of Minzah Mehraj

Minzah Mehraj

A journalist based in Srinagar, Kashmir, covering culture, education, health and environmental stories

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