SG527 Pam Hoepner of Pam’s Pepper Jam


In this week’s episode (SG527), I interview Pam Hoepner – the creative and driven woman behind Pam’s Pepper Jam.  It takes a lot of commitment to turn a passion for jam into a business – and Pam did just that. After 20 years of making her own delicious pepper jam, Pam finally took her family and friends’ advice and started selling her all natural, totally addicting jam. It’s an inspiring story for anyone who has ever dreamed of making a business out of their garden harvest.

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In this Episode:

    • Pam’s Story  (8:09 )

“Like a lot of people I got laid off. Couldn’t find a job… I have a house. I’ve got a hungry dog. So I needed to do something. I called the State Department and said, “Hey. I make jam. How do I get into this business? “
– Pam Hoepner, Pam’s Pepper Jam

    • Jam Making 101 (15:40)

“I’ve thrown a lot of things behind the garage. I just tell people, ‘Don’t give up.’  You can have one great batch and then not another.”
Pam's Pepper Jam Medium Hot Spicy Raspberry Blueberry


    • The Art of Jam-Making (19:10)

“When I first launched my kitchen, the first two and a half months my jam wasn’t turning out and I couldn’t understand why.
Here’s the biggest tip I can give jam-makers: Make sure you use pure cane sugar.”
– Pam Hoepner, Pam’s Pepper Jam

    • Harvest, Batches, & Jars Review (23:59)

“I make my jam seven jars at a time – that’s one batch with my recipe. I made almost six thousand jars myself  that first year.”
– Pam Hoepner, Pam’s Pepper Jam

    •  Ingredient Review: Peppers & Onions (29:00 )

“I don’t personally care for green peppers. Personally, I prefer the red pepper. They’re a smoother pepper, they’re softer-tasting pepper and they look pretty in the jam.”
– Pam Hoepner, Pam’s Pepper Jam

    • Pam’s Pepper Jam – A Kitchen Essential (34:48)

“Most people know my jam as a fantastic hors d’oevre on cream cheese.  It’s also excellent on brie.”
– Pam Hoepner, Pam’s Pepper Jam
Pam's Pepper Jam Raspberry and Hot



    • Jamtini’s (39:00)

Theresa Loe of Growing a Greener World has created a ton of recipes using jam spiked vodka to create what she calls the “jamtini“.  Pam’s Pepper Jams are great additions to drinks:

“You know, I smile when I hear about making drinks with my jam.  I have customers who do that and told me about it and they actually use my hot pepper jam. My hot pepper jam is not a rock ’em sock ’em. Pepper Jam is also awesome in Margaritas and Bloody Marys
– Pam Hoepner, Pam’s Pepper Jam

Pam's Pepper Jam in Stores or Online at


    • How long does jam last, really? (40:00)

“The State Department will actually allow a five year shelf life for jam. I put a two year expiration on mine because I figure if you don’t eat it in two years, you’re not going to. Jam is a wonderful foray into the retail food business because it’s so low on the hazardous totem pole for a food item.  I’ve had people say doggone it I forgot to put the jam away after I opened it and I didn’t put back in the fridge and I threw it away. You don’t have to do that. It’s really a low low hazardous food item.”
– Pam Hoepner, Pam’s Pepper Jam

    • Advice for New Jam-makers (45:40)

“The first two years my learning curve with straight up. It was the most vertical line you’ve ever seen in your life.  You continue to learn all the time. After my first year I thought it would get easier– well, it never gets easier. It has leveled off a little bit. There’s always something new – there’s always something different – you’re always learning.”
“We all start at farmers markets and local events.  And, you need to. You learn so much doing that.”
– Pam Hoepner, Pam’s Pepper Jam

Connect with Pam:

Pam’s Website
On Facebook


6ftmama iTunes Review Button

Hi there, Listeners! Leave me a review in  iTunes and I’ll thank you with a shout out on the next Still Growing… podcast!     [View it in iTunes and then go to Ratings & Reviews]


Still growing...

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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  1. Anonymous on December 30, 2016 at 3:23 am


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