Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Frasier Doherty - The Teenage Jam Millionaire


Here is a great story about a young entrepreneur out of Scotland named Fraser Doherty. Fraser is an 18 year old student at Strathclyde University and his company, SuperJams, is already a million dollar business. With his recent success, Fraser is looking to make his studies a part time endeavor while he focuses on building his company. “It’s done a lot better than I expected. It’s growing really fast. The difficult thing is producing enough.”

Fraser sells jams and preserves that target a new, younger audience. They stay true to his grandmother’s original recipe but attract more health-conscious consumers. For example, instead of using sweetener like the other, big name jams, Fraser uses grape juice. He also focuses on the “superfoods” like blackcurrants, blueberries and ginger which are attracting buyers looking for a healthier diet. “I think people are looking for something a bit healthier, and it’s more fun and modern. It appeals to people who might not normally buy jam.”

Despite the growing revenues, Fraser has not taken any money out of the company, preferring to pump it back into the business. “For me, it’s not really about making lots of money. You have to create something you enjoy and have a passion for. I genuinely do love jam. When I read that sales had been falling for a couple of decades, I was horrified by the idea of it becoming extinct.”

Fraser started the company four years ago at the age of 14, selling his jam door to door as a way to earn extra spending money. He expanded by setting up shop at a local farmer’s market and soon found that he could not keep up with the demand for his jams. “I think I’ve still got a lot to learn. It’s not easy to set up a business and you have to really believe in it. There were points when I thought it would never be ready to go on the shelves.”

With his recent success, Fraser is about to release a book that discusses his story called “How to be a Teenage Millionaire.” It just goes to show that if you have enough passion for your business and a product that is in genuine demand, you can create a real business no matter how old you are.

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