Get to know a local mama: MEET Erin!

Hi Erin + welcome to the BUSHBABY journal!

Let's start at the beginning -- where were you born + raised?

I was raised in Canton, Illinois, then moved to Peoria at 21 and have lived here since. Central Illinois proud! I loved growing up in a small town, and I find that Peoria has a good balance of close community with bigger city amenities, and I'm proud to call it home.

Meeting hubby + settling here?

My husband, Eric, and I met at the Taste of Peoria. We were both standing with a group of friends and kept catching each other's eye. He started to walk away, and I decided I didn't want that to happen so I chased after him, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Children?

We have one son, Ever. He just turned three! He's very smart, funny, and opinionated. Also pretty cute.

Best part of being his mom?

The best part of being Ever's mom is the perspective he brings to my life. Through him, I am able to experience everything as though it is new again. Becoming a mother has showed me my own strength, and is simultaneously incredibly difficult and immensely wonderful.

Passions, career?

We are entrepreneurs and we own JamBerry in Dunlap. A literal mom & pop shop, we opened our doors three years ago with a six week old baby. JamBerry is a coffee shop and small bakery, and we make jam 1-2 times a year. Local berries are now in season, so our days look a little different right now than they do throughout the rest of the year. Currently we are spending a lot of time picking fruit, making jam, and preparing all of our supplies to label the jars and get them on the shelf. It's one of the most popular items at the shop, and since it's such a small batch + artisanal product, it goes very quickly!

We enjoy the way the years flow, from summer jam to thanksgiving pies and holiday baking. It's nice to have a space to be present in each season.

Spring + Summer plans for the family?

As small business owners, it can be difficult to carve out personal time, but we also feel pretty strongly about enjoying life as much as possible. We have a couple weekend getaways in mind, but mostly strive to find joy in the day to day. Walking to junction city for ice cream or the farmers market, spending a whole day in pajamas at home, cooking out with friends, and working on various projects are all on the summer bucket list.

Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your life, Erin! Your little bakery sounds so sweet! {Follow JamBerry on Facebook here!}