Youth find their jam in own businesses

Nov 16, 2019

Sydney morning herald image
Benjamin Burwood started his own jam business, which raises money for a charity in East Timor. Photo: James Brickwood

Most 18-year-olds don’t cut up 400 punnets of strawberries in the middle of their HSC exams but Benjamin Burwood isn’t a typical year 12 student.

The Wahroonga resident, who runs his own jam business, is part of a new crop of enterprising young Australians who are launching their own food ventures and raising money for charity. By promoting their wares via social media and e-commerce sites, these budding food operators are putting a digital spin on the old-fashioned concept of the street-side lemonade stand.

Mr Burwood started making his own jam when he was 10, before he eventually starting selling by word of mouth, at school stalls, and via social media and an online shop.

His brand, BenJAMin, goes on sale this weekend at five Harris Farm stores on Sydney’s lower north shore.

The business has helpedMr Burwood cope with a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis type 1 and raised funds for charityMaryMacKillop Today to help children in Timor-Leste, where his mother was born.

‘‘[It was great] seeing the look on the little kids’ faces when we went to East Timor and gave them jam on bread because some of them had never even tried a strawberry before,’’ Mr Burwood said.

Originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald by Megan Johnston

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