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Something About Me...

A little history on how I came about creating Gotta Be Penelopes.   I grew up on a farm in a very small town in upstate New York, known as the North Country or Champlain Valley area.  We had a very large garden with just about every vegetable known to man.  I remember saying to my mother that when I grew up, I would never have a large vegetable garden!  It was way too much work!  Well, I’m now eating those words!!
I moved to the outskirts of Albany, New York and started my organic garden when I bought my first house.  Started freezing and canning like my mom did. 😊   We moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1995 when my children were very young, and I started my gardens again.  Each year my garden would grow a little bigger!  I would always put in extra plants, just in case they died.  I would give away some to friends and neighbors and can/freeze what I could.  One year I had so many habanero peppers and I couldn't figure out what to do with them.   My son asked me if I had ever had hot pepper jelly.  Truthfully, I had never experienced the great flavor of this with cream cheese on a cracker!  It’s a very popular food in the south and I couldn’t believe I had never tried it.

It all started with the habanero pepper jelly...

I found a basic recipe and started adding my own preferences to make it my own.  I loved it!!  I started giving jars to friends and coworkers.  I would always give them the cream cheese and pretzel crackers to try with the jelly.  Pretty soon, I had so many people asking me for more and if they could possibly buy it from me.  They kept saying that I should market it.  I had people giving me their business cards and asking me to contact them when I started marketing it!  I procrastinated for a couple of years, but then thought why not do something that I’m very passionate about and thoroughly enjoy? 

I bottled my very first pepper jelly on June 21st, 2019!  I now make a variety of different pepper jellies and plan to add more flavors in the coming months.  Please enjoy my delicious all natural pepper jellies that I am so proud to make!
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