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Community Highlights: Meet Jessica Jacobson of Fireworks Chefs Butters

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Jacobson.

Hi Jessica, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I have always been drawn to food and entertaining. Even as a young girl, I used to comb through my grandmother’s bon apetit magazines, clipping recipes that caught my eye. I graduated college with a BFA in communications design AKA graphic design, which is primarily 2D. However, I wanted to design 3D spaces so I went into corporate retail design. I traveled and saw a lot of the country while working on new store openings and store remodels. But there was something else I wanted to get to know and that was a life in food. After starting a family, I realized I couldn’t feasibly go back to all the work and travel that I had once done. So I started to dream up a new career in a food business. That was six years ago and I have never looked back. I started Fireworks Chefs Butters to learn business, learn scaling a food product, and to push myself to be something I had never thought I could be, a business owner, leader and founder of a company.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting something from nothing is not easy. It’s lonely and hard to carry all of the weight on your own. One of the first big struggles I had to overcome was the news of Lucky’s Markets closing many of the stores where my products were being sold. And then Covid hit and I had no commissary kitchen space to make the butter in. The world shut down and so did my business for about 12 months. We underwent a huge transformation during that phase. If it weren’t for those stores closing and shut down happening, I may not have had the courage to make the branding changes that I did. I’m forever grateful for that period. It forced me to look at what mattered most in growing the business and to take charge of the things that made growth easier.

We’ve been impressed with Fireworks Chefs Butters, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are a woman-owned and run small, artisanal food company that makes high-quality, delicious grass-fed and organic butter. We are known for our amazing recipes and award-winning flavors. We are also very focused on sustainability, justice, equity and inclusion. Our food manufacturing takes place in a kitchen that trains disadvantaged populations facing homelessness and joblessness to work in food and restaurants. We love our partnership with Boulder Bridge House, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates that kitchen. I am most proud of the work we do to serve those individuals. We are making the world a better place every day by giving hope to those that may have lost it.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I follow a lot of food marketing podcasts. Ally Ball’s Food Biz Wiz and Sari Kimbell’s Food Business Success are my favorites. I used to read a lot of business books. I don’t make time these days, but the ones that stand out are definitely on book lists at many MBA programs. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt, and Ray Dalio’s Principles. These are all at the top of my business book list.

Pricing:

  • We are a high-end luxury food brand. Our butter bursts are made by hand. Because of this labor costs are high. We are also a commodity-based business, meaning market fluctuations change our pricing year over year. Just like the rest of the world had shipping and supply chain issues during and still after Covid 19, we have to fluctuate based on crop growth, water, and feed prices for the cows that produce for us. We offer discounts on purchases greater than $30.

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