Gwen Fowler



Sallie's Greatest jams are a real treat

Posted 12/20/2010 12:57:00 PM

Sallie Dent Porth had barely launched her new business, Sallie’s Greatest, when the calls and orders started pouring in.

That’s a very nice problem for a brand-new business, and Porth has Garden & Gun magazine to thank for it.

In the December/January issue, the magazine named Sallie’s Greatest a Made in the South award winner.

Porth makes herbal fruit jams, and just the flavors will make your mouth water. There are strawberry and basil; blueberry lemon and thyme; peach pepper and ginger; peach and mint; blueberry and lime; and blueberry and lavender. Prices are $8.99 per 9.5-ounce jar, and some gift packs are available.

Porth lives in Cameron, her hometown, but she spent many years traveling the country with her career in medical sales and business development. In 2004, she gave up the rat race and moved home to Cameron and took up jam making.
“It’s a good change for me,” she said. “I’m still dabbling in what I call the real world, but I’m part-time, so I’m trying to focus most of my time on the jam business.”

Her husband likes to garden and her mother-in-law has canned all her life. She got Porth started making jam as a hobby, and “he’d come in with mounds of fresh produce.”

Her neighbor, farmer Monty Rast of Longview Acres, grows strawberries and blueberries. She grows herbs.

“I started mixing fresh herbs and fruit," she said. "Everybody kept encouraging me to do something with it, so here I am.”

The herb and fruit combinations just come to her, she said.

“The combination has to sound right in my head, and then I start putting the ingredients in a pot.”

She’s gone from making jams at home to making it in a commercial kitchen.

“It’s still made in small batches," she said. "I just have more pots going at the same time.”

She launched her business Nov. 17, about the time the magazine issue came out, and already has had to hire help to keep up with online orders. A fan of the magazine, Porth had entered her business in the Made in the South competition.

After the Christmas rush, she plans to work on getting her jams into more retail locations. For now, her jams are carried in Charleston at Lily; in Orangeburg Mary Nell’s Gifts; in Columbia at WineStyles; in Greenville at Great Harvest Bread Co.; in Santee at Clark’s Restaurant and Inn; and in Cameron at Golden Kernel Pecan Co.