Economic Slump Stirs Up Home Grown Opportunity

Los Angeles Times:

For Marlene Baroli-Turati, life has become an obsession with sugar and fruit.

After working two decades as a project manager for Boeing Co., she was laid off during a round of recession-fueled cutbacks in 2008.

“I had always made jams and jellies as gifts,” said Baroli-Turati, 44, who lives in Lake Forest and launched a line of preserves under the brand name DaSweetZpot. She sells the products online store on and at area food festivals and trade shows.

“I figured, why not start making them as a business?” she said.

While home food preservation thrives as a cultish hobby, the slow economy has helped launch a cottage industry for homemade preserves. Boutique businesses such as Baroli-Turati’s are using old-fashioned methods to make small-batch jams, jellies and other preserved foods. Start-up costs can be low. The products have a relatively long shelf life. And even in tough times, consumers still seek out comfort foods.

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