Success Stories

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Growing Business - Jam Straight

Where grandmas’ heritage recipes have turned into a business dream, selling homemade preserves.

Meryce Hampsheir grew up with a grandma who always had a pantry full of homemade preserves, bottled fruit and relishes.  

Taught from an early age how to do it and after a long career in hospitality Meryce gave it up to start her dream of running her own business, selling her own homemade preserves.

Jam Straight was set up in 2017 and sells a range of  Preserves, Sauces, Honey, Relishes and Chutney.

However, Meryce’s push into business was prompted by chance.

“I walked past the Business Lab in Stratford, East London and saw a sign in the window about a course in running your own business.”

“I came home, talked it through with my husband, next thing I knew I was signing up to do the three week pre start business course run by Newham College . Best decision I ever made! It taught us all the ins and outs of how to start, when to go for help, had a range of speakers come in from all types of companies, from banks to those that had started their own business. They talked about the highs and lows & everything else in between.”

“Once the course was over I was offered ongoing support through the college’s follow on programme Enterprise Steps, with a mentor (for me this was Neil Leslie) to see how you were progressing & offering advice where & when needed.“

Meryce has been able to rethink her original business model since being part of the  Enterprise Steps programme.

“My business has taken a complete turn around since I first came up with the idea. Instead of making, selling & marketing my products I looked into outsourcing, this has turned into a good business decision especially when you are going to be doing all the work yourself.”


“I also looked at selling other companies products but the one condition I had was that they couldn’t be found on the high street. Working with suppliers that don’t have other stockists in London has enabled me to stock unique product ranges exclusively.”

Meryce is aiming for Jam Straight to have its own premises within 12 months and has now brought her husband on board into the business. She loves the freedom of being her own boss and seeing the rewards from her efforts.

 “Never be afraid to ask for help. Don’t give up because in the end all the hard work that goes into turning your dreams into reality are definitely going to be worth it.” 

Take the next steps with your business
Enterprise Steps has developed an innovative programme for London-based pre-start up, start-ups and established businesses to support them in growing to their full potential.

Find out more here, and about our latest workshops and events here.


The Enterprise Steps programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).