How could anyone resist a café with the delightful moniker of The Jam Pot? In the heart of Grange, Co. Sligo, Orlaith Conefrey has created a real gem – a bright, warm, welcoming spot with home baking, cracking coffee and an imaginative and enticing menu. What’s not to like! The Jam Pot is new to Sligo Food Trail and a welcome addition in north Sligo.
Orlaith is a native of Rosses Point and has always loved cooking and particularly baking. She has fond childhood memories of her granny’s kitchen in Leitrim, particularly of making boxty following an old family recipe. Unsurprisingly that same boxty is a regular on the specials menu at The Jam Pot. Keeping it in the family, Orlaith has roped in her mother to make a few more family favourites – the much loved brown bread and scones which are now firm fixtures on The Jam Pot menu.
After school, a third level cookery course in Sligo DIT was a natural progression for Orlaith. She began her career as a chef under the eagle eye of another Sligo Food Trail member, Alan Fitzmaurice who at that point was working in The Waterfront Rosses Point (Alan is now Executive Chef at The Glasshouse Hotel). After a few years balancing the unsocial hours of a cheffing career, Orlaith took a change in tack after her daughter was born. She went back to college and qualified with an honours degree in Occupational Health & Safety, with a view to more regular hours in this new career. However the boom finished and, along with it, many of the job opportunities.
Always innovative, Orlaith spotted an opportunity in 2017 to open her own business in Grange and so The Jam Pot was born. The café is going from strength to strength; previously open just five days a week, it has now expanded to six (closed Mondays). Sunday hours are a compact 11am-3pm. Occasionally Orlaith opens for an evening and that is predictably a popular option. Customers are a healthy balance of local and passing trade, and 18 months on, it is a firm fixture and favourite in Grange. Even the school children, with a keen nose for a good hot chocolate, have sniffed out The Jam Pot.
Asked about hobbies, Orlaith laughs and wonders when she will have time to get back to running which she used to love. Meanwhile she is busy developing her business. The Jam Pot is booming and there is strong demand for her bespoke decorated cakes – birthdays, weddings and novelty cakes. Her next step is introducing afternoon teas and judging by the delicious home baking on display it would be well worth popping out to Grange to indulge the taste buds.