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Teen entrepreneur from Angus going from strength to strength after starting out with his granny’s jam

Owen Foster.
Owen Foster.

An Angus teenager who began his jam making business at the age of 12 has expanded his offering during the coronavirus pandemic.

Owen Foster of Owen’s Angus Jams is a familiar face at farmers’ markets, community gatherings and food and drink events around the country.

The 19-year-old showcases his artisan produce which includes his jams and fruit-infused gins.

And he is now offering the very best local producers have available at his unit in Forfar’s Old Brechin Road where Owen’s Angus Jams and Foster’s Farm Shop and Café are based.

Stocking local produce that is grown or made in the local area, Owen has come a long way from making his first batch of jam in his home kitchen with his grandmother.

The team at Owen’s Angus Jams, Foster’s Farm Shop and Cafe are, from left: Nicola Peters, Jude Foster, Owen Foster and Edana Foster.

“I started Owen’s Angus Jams in 2014 when I was 12,” Owen laughed.

“I used to sell eggs, but then the egg supply dried up. I realised I needed to find something else so I went to my grandma who always made jam every year and we made a pot of jam, 50 jars, and sold all 50 in the first week.

“Then I had a stall at the school and it all just took off from there. It went from strength to strength and I moved out of the house in 2019.”

Moving out of the house

Owen had managed to secure a unit at Forfar’s Orchardbank, while it did the job the opportunity to move to the base at Old Brechin Road was one he couldn’t turn down.

The interior of the unit stocked with local produce.

Owen’s mum, Jude, explained: “We had an industrial unit at Orchardbank, it did the job and it got him out of the house, but it was just a big industrial unit, it was freezing, it was costing a fortune. Then this place came up and we decided we need to move again. It has been good.”

While the jam was what got him started, Owen, now 19, has continued to diversify his business, as he doesn’t want to stand still.

“We did the jams and I then moved into making fruit-infused gins, which we don’t have at the shop at the moment as we need to get a licence, but we take them with us to the shows that we do,” he said.

Owen makes jam
Owen gets to work making some of his jam.

“We have some amazing local fruits and thought ‘what else can we do to use all this fruit?’, so we moved into the gins.

“And when we moved into the shop we have all the jams, marmalades, fresh fruit, veg, honeys, flowers, pastas, artisan breads, rolls, a selection of local meats, ready meals – everything is local as far as possible.

“Most of the produce comes from within a 20 or 30-mile radius of the shop as we want to support local which is important.”

Jam being made
Jam bubbling away.

More plans in pipeline

The layout of the shop has now been altered so that, as restrictions brought in to help contain the Covid-19 pandemic lifted people were able to browse. With that now complete, Owen has more plans for later in the year.

“Having just opened things up so people can walk about and see what the shop has to offer, I think the next stage coming into winter will be having seating inside too,” he revealed.

Some of the jams.

“We have planning permission for four tables and we are going to put in a log-burning fire which should give off heat and a nice ambience,” added Jude. “We are really looking forward to people hopefully coming out for a tea or a coffee, some lunches and picking up some products too.”

Popular cheesecake and dessert offering Slice of Forfar, which is run by Klaudia Zablocka, is now based at the unit, too, having moved in there on Saturday.

Jude added: “We have Slice of Forfar joining us and we are looking forward to working with them. She has a great following for her cheesecakes so it will fit in really well with what we are doing here.”

Artisan bread
Artisan bread in stock at Foster’s Farm Shop and Cafe.

Back on the show circuit

And Owen is also getting out and about again taking his jams and gins to shows, which began at the weekend when he was present at the Glamis Summer Festival at Glamis Castle over the weekend.

“It’s going to be great to get out again and not stuck inside, be able to speak to people, let them taste everything, and have that banter with people too,” he added.

Owen's Angus Jam
Owen makes marmalade too.

“Being able to taste products is important, as the customers can speak to you and ask questions. When you see it on a shelf you just don’t know much about it.

“The place came up and it made sense to move with the kitchen through the back, all the products in the front and still able to get out and do the shows at the weekend.

“I am just trying to diversify as a lot of places open up just doing one thing, but then they don’t have anything else to fall back on if interest dries up.”

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