Punk rock drummer turned artisanal jam-making entrepreneur Laura Ann Masura is no stranger to turning lemons into lemonade — or, in this case, oranges into Hollywood Marmalade.
Raised in Illinois, where she played drums in many bands in Chicago's indie-rock scene, she was a seasoned pro at winning over jaded audiences and fickle club bookers by the time she landed in Los Angeles in 2004. When her band broke up shortly after her arrival, her well-honed instinct for improvising kicked in. She started taking her service industry career seriously, and while working on a concept for an all-natural hot dog stand, she reacquainted herself with the preserving skills she was taught by her grandmother. Soon she was making her own mustard and relish — and eventually marmalade, using oranges plucked from trees in her backyard. Reminded of her childhood days of making jams and jellies with her mother and grandmother, she made her first specialty jams, with produce and herbs she discovered at the farmers market. Jam-making became a weekly flavor experiment/obsession that filled her cabinets, so she began selling the jams to her co-workers & friends. Her restaurant boss and numerous musician and foodie friends in L.A.’s eclectic Echo Park/Silver Lake neighborhood fell in love with her creative flavor combinations and avidly encouraged her to pursue her jam-making full-time. The hot dog stand was put on hold as she launched Laura Ann's Jams.
A serious motorcycle accident sidelined Masura in 2009, but as she recuperated from surgery she found that making jam was creatively therapeutic. Not only that, word got around about her story, and prominent local blogs began spreading the word about her delicious jams. Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly all lauded her fruity creations, and she was the subject of an Oprah Winfrey Network Original Short (“Jam Lady”). One of her jams even prompted a question on the game show Jeopardy. Working simultaneously as a local mixologist and caterer, Masura started crafting original cocktails with her jams — an endeavor that has been greeted with even more accolades from LA Times, LA Weekly and Wall Street Journal.
Masura’s original flavor combinations — Blackberry Bay Leaf, Strawberry Vanilla Bean, Raspberry Habanero, Wild Blueberry Almond — are inspired by excursions to local farmers markets and area farms. She takes pride in making her own jams with all fresh (and, whenever available, organic) ingredients, and is continually dreaming up new ways in which to enjoy her jams. It is truly a labor of love that has friends and fans wondering what she will cook up next.
If you have any questions or comments for Laura Ann, or to be added to the email list, drop her a line at LA@LauraAnnsJams.com
The full range of Laura Ann’s Jams can be purchased through her website, lauraannsjams.com. They are also available at these fine local cafes, shops and hotels: Auntie Em's Kitchen, Origami Vinyl, Stories Books & Cafe, Fancifull Gift Baskets, The Strand House Manhattan Beach, Cafe Verde, Musso and Frank Grill, Baker & Nosh, Loews Hollywood Hotel, Acorn, the Hood Market, Manhattan Beach Marriott, Donut Friend, the Lazy K House, LA County Store, State Fare Bar & Kitchen at the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, Salt & Straw, Deus Ex Machina, Farm Fresh to You, West Central Produce and Renaissance Long Beach Hotel.