When Kristin Farrell graduated from the University of Delaware in 2011, she began the traditional path of finding a job in her field — advertising design. But her path turned when she decided to fuse her design skills with her passion for baking to create In a Jar Foods.
“I thought I would be in advertising,” Farrell told The Darien Times. “So this is kind of a pleasant turn of events, I really enjoy doing it. It’s very exciting for me.”
Farrell, who graduated from Darien High School in 2007, had designed the concept of In a Jar Foods for her online portfolio when she was interviewing at advertising agencies, but friends told her that her concept would make a great product.
Currently, Farrell offers organic chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies that are layered in a glass jar. She chose those cookies to start because they included brown sugar, which contrasted with the white flour in the jar, she said.
As soon as she created the perfect recipes, she hit the town with samples, stopping first at Villa Maria School in Stamford for a fair, where she sold out of all her cookie mixes. “That gave us the push to keep going,” Farrell said.
She hit a few more fairs during the holidays, which gave her enough money to start looking at partnering with a packing factory. She found one in Randolph, Vt., and eventually earned her organic certification from the USDA after an extensive application process.
Now her cookie mixes can be found at Palmer’s Market, Walter Stewart’s Market in New Canaan, Village Market in Wilton, and at Cooked & Co. in Scarsdale, N.Y. She’s been talking to Whole Foods and Fairway Market, and is eager to expand farther into Fairfield County. Her products are also available at her website, InaJarFoods.com
What’s next on her recipe list? “We’re having a debate over brownies or snicker doodles,” she said. She is also tossing around the idea of apple cinnamon muffins or blueberry pancakes. Her family has thoroughly enjoyed being the recipe guinea pigs, she said.
The feedback Farrell’s received from her grocery store demonstrations has been positive, she said. She also has a blog, which is written by herself and friend, Courtney Rogers, in which she discusses recipe ideas or suggested uses for the jars after the cookies are made.
In keeping with her Earth-friendly ethos, her labels are printed on biodegradable paper. She also offers custom labels for weddings, birthdays, baby showers or other events. Currently she is the distributor of her products, and her boyfriend helps her sometimes to carry heavy boxes.
“It is a lot of driving but it does keep cost down,” she said. Even though the economy is still struggling, Farrell doesn’t think it will prevent her from expanding operations.
“For us, it’s finding the right market, specialty or organics, because people are trying to be more healthy,” she said. “Even though the economy isn’t doing so well, people will spend the extra money needed to have the organic products.”
One day she hopes to have a store showcasing her In a Jar products, she said, but for now she’s focused on getting her name out there and making sure her cookies keep even the snobbiest of cookie connoisseurs satisfied.
“I’m pretty excited about doing something different,” she said.