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July 11, 2012 Canning

Fillmore Spotlight

The Secret to a Winning Recipe

Our customers have great products and we have the unique opportunity to see their stories of success unfold. We want to share these great stories — to inspire you, and to honor our customers — in a regular blog series called Fillmore Spotlight.

We kick off the series with the owner and creator of In a Jam by Maryann. Maryann Chiavetta is the mastermind behind Pepperelly, a delectable pepper glaze and spread.

When we spoke with Maryann she told us (GASP!) that she had never canned anything before starting her business. So, how did she dive into the wonderful world of canning, create a fantastic product, and become a huge success? Here’s her story.

Maryann and Nick Chiavetta

Maryann Chiavetta and her son, Nick. Photo credit – Patriot News

Fillmore: How was Pepperelly born?

Maryann: Pepper jelly was always a staple in my pantry and over the past few years it became hard to find a quality pepper jelly. When I asked family and friends, they agreed that pepper jelly was tough to find. That was my aha! moment. I recognized that there was an opportunity to create a product that was currently missing in our marketplace. So, I started testing a few recipes with family and friends. I even set up a stand in my front yard during a yard sale. I sold every jar! Watching the positive reaction of those tasting my product inspired me.

Fillmore: Give us a peek into the process of making Pepperelly.

Maryann: Jumping into the world of canning was a bit challenging, but it has proven to have great rewards. Probably the most interesting part of the Pepperelly process was creating a relish consistency with the unique crunch of fresh bell peppers. I am often asked, ”How do you get this great consistency?“ Although I can’t give away my secret … I can tell you that the Pepperelly consistency was created by pure luck. Being new at canning, I had made an error when working on a test batch. My error turned into the signature Pepperelly that I sell today.

Fillmore: You use all local ingredients and packaging. How did you come to this decision?

Maryann: I wanted my company and products to have a direct connection to the community and one way to do that was to partner with local farmers and businesses. I also decided to work with people that I enjoy doing business with. I believe that working with quality local and friendly businesses is a big part of what has made this journey so successful.

Fillmore: Tell us about the new flavors you’ve added to your product line.Pepperelly

  • Savory Garden Pepperelly is my original recipe. It is great on roasted vegetables or any kind of meat or fish.
  • Sassy Garden Pepperelly has a hint of jalapeño and is perfect on a pork loin or a mild fish.
  • Super Sassy Pepperelly is a bit hotter than Sassy. I actually added too much jalapeño to a batch of original Sassy. Everyone loved the extra heat and Super Sassy was born.
  • Cranberry Orange Pepperelly is a seasonal flavor that is just popping with color and flavor. It is available October through December. It is fantastic over cheesecake!
  • Cherry Pepperelly has the beauty and full flavor of cherries. I enjoy this on salmon.
  • Sassy Wheat Ale Pepperelly just launched this spring and is made with Tröegs DreamWeaver Wheat Ale beer.

Fillmore: What advice do you have to others interested in creating their own product?

Maryann: Listen to the experts you meet throughout your journey. When I stepped into a new world of canning and selling a gourmet food product, I selected partners that were willing to guide me through the process. Without their insight, I am not sure my journey would have been as successful or as rewarding.

Thanks for sharing your story, Maryann! In the past two years we’ve watched your business flourish to more than 9,000 jars of Pepperelly. We always look forward to seeing you arrive at Fillmore Container. Our logistics team packs 60 cases of jars in Maryann’s car monthly. Maybe next month we can squeeze in 61 cases!

Win a Jar of Pepperelly

Craving a jar of Pepperelly? Win a jar of Pepperelly by telling us what you’ll make with it. We will randomly select four winners, each will receive on jar of Pepperelly, compliments of Maryann.

  1. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post and share how you’d use Pepperelly.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Thursday, July 19, 2012.
  3. Winners will be chosen at random (using and will be posted to the blog on Friday, July 20, 2012.
  4. Giveaway is open to U.S. readers.
  5. One entry/comment per person, please.
  6. “No purchase necessary.”


Post a Comment

  1. Holly Wolf Posted July 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Make with it? It is never around very long for me to make something with it. We like it with cream cheese on a cracker. Mmmmm

  2. Kathi O'Brien Posted July 16, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    My favorite use of Pepperelly is in a Turkey wrap. I use a whole wheat tortilla, spread it with my favorite Pepperelly, add some fresh tender greens, sliced turkey breast, a little more Pepperelly and sprinkle with dried cranberries….yummo !!! When in season Cranberry Orange is excellent on this wrap, but any flavor works well.

  3. Andrea Martin Posted July 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    This sounds awesome, and I'd love to try some mixed into a chicken salad or brushed onto grilled chicken.

    Thanks for offering a giveaway!

    • Jessie Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      I love the idea of using mason jars! We use tupperware (I'm a clsunotant so I have LOTS and LOTS) but I absolutely adore the look of glass jars! They just look so clean and see through and I don't know, classic? I may just have to do this with some of my items – at least to display. Would love to have you stop by for a visit as well – Organizing Amid Chaos from my profile page. Also, I'm now following you!

    • Mohammad Posted August 22, 2012 at 4:46 am | Permalink

      I am so loving the jars! I looekd for mason jars at Christmas for salsa gifts, and couldn't find them anywhere! The stores all told me they only carry them during summer and fall canning season! Hope to find some now and try this!

  4. Lisa Posted July 20, 2012 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Our family loves your Pepperelly, MaryAnn! Love your story & Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Elmer Posted August 22, 2012 at 4:58 am | Permalink

      yes, you can put the jars in the freezer. Just make sure wahtever you put in them has cooled COMPLETELY. I made jam, put it in the jars, left it on the counter overnight, then froze the jars. They've been fine in the freezer for a few months