Photography by Grant Kessler
Welcome to our Products We Love series, where we feature one of our favorite product vendors. All of our products are chosen for their uniqueness and quality. Many of them are from small businesses with a passion for what they do and a genuine belief in the product they create. Some of our products are well recognized brands and some are up and coming. They are all products we would absolutely give to our own family and friends. So you can trust that all of the products in our gift baskets are superior quality!
I first discovered Jo Snow Syrups about 3 years ago when I was contracted to create custom gift baskets for the Women’s Business Development Center of Chicago. The request was that all of the products in the gift baskets be from women owned businesses in Chicago. The baskets were for their annual conference and they wanted to highlight these unique and successful Chicago businesses.
Jo Snow Syrups are all natural beverage syrups of unique flavor combinations that can be used to flavor coffee, tea, sodas, and more. Melissa Yen is the founder of Jo Snow Syrups and I recently interviewed her about her awesome syrups.
How long have you been in business?
I’ve been in business for seven years, now. Wow! Time flies when you are having fun.
How did your business get started?
I used to co-own a coffee shop. I was obsessed with this Mexican coffee drink called Café de Olla. It is a spiced coffee with cinnamon, cloves & orange that is cooked in a clay pot (an olla) with piloncillo, unrefined pure cane sugar. I wanted to find a way to easily get this tasty coffee treat to my customers, so I created syrup that I could pump into a latte. The Cardamom Rose Water syrup based on a Turkish coffee was next. My business partner & I sold the cafe. I took four months off to brainstorm & figure out how to brand my coffee syrups & Jo Snow was born!
Why are you passionate about your product?
I am a passionate person…period! Once I obsess over something I give it my all. I love creating. Syrups just happen to be my canvas. Coming up with combinations of flavors that no one else has thought of, or that you wouldn’t expect to work, is so much fun. Tweaking a recipe to get it just right is such a reward, especially if I am creating a custom syrup for someone. Jo Snow syrups are very personal to me. They are like a reflection of myself.
What are your customers saying about your product?
People are excited that Jo Snow is an all natural product that is not full of preservatives & artificial colors. Coffee Shops & bars are happy to support a small business that is making unique flavors that help set them apart by giving them the tools to create signature beverages, whether it is a latte or a cocktail.
Thank you Melissa for sharing your story with us.
Melissa was last year's recipient of the UPS Elevator Pitch award which you can view below in her video. Just another reason her products are one of our favorites!