In 1955 Richard E. Kimball and Ruth E. Kimball founded R.E. Kimball & Company. They were looking for a high-quality alternative to the mass-produced jams and jellies that were available at the time and thought their family recipes and commitment to fresh natural ingredients would fit the bill. Over sixty years, 3 generations and 130 varieties later they are still going strong in Amesbury, MA.
All of R.E Kimball’s products were based on three principals, taste, quality, and authenticity. Every batch is made the old-fashioned way in the original 75 Gallon steam kettle Richard and Ruth used in the 1950’s. Each recipe uses all-natural ingredients, nothing artificial ever. Each flavor starts with fruit, sugar, and water; hand mixed and slowly cooked in the steam kettle. The 10 oz glass jars are sanitized and when the batch is ready, hand filled. Sealing, cooling, and labeling come next also done by hand one batch at a time. There are faster more economical ways to make jam but why change what has been working for over 60 years. Taste, quality, and authenticity still guide the process today.
Many years ago, Calef’s was in search of a new jam to feature in our country store. After much trial and error, we settled upon R. E. Kimball Company. We have truly found a partner. The quality, consistency and excellent customer service provide by the Kimball family, and now the New England Cranberry family, has been outstanding.
If you have ever visited our store you know that we have an entire wall dedicated to Kimball’s jams with our Calef’s Country Store label. We feature over 40 flavors of sweet and savory jams, jellies, relishes, and fruit spreads. Some of our most popular are Beech Plum, Wild Strawberry, Triple Berry, Apple Cider, Hot Pepper and Apple Butter. We sell hundreds of cases per year and ship all over the country. Many of our customers buy 6 or more jars at a time. A local WMUR personality gives a holiday gift of our jams to his crew every year. You could say that they have quite a following.
In an era of poor-quality mass-produced foods, the Kimball family had a conviction and stuck with it. In the early day the products were sold in roadside stands and orchards, the precursor to today’s ever present farmer’s markets. Today the product line can be found in many specialty foods stores throughout New England, often with a private labeled for each shop. Richard and Ruth’s hard work and legacy continues today. Calef’s is proud to feature these New England products.