It was 40 years ago – 1983 -when two friends drove to the Keweenaw Peninsula from Detroit, with the idea of something new but meaningful in their lives: they set out to become monks and have their own monastery.

As they toured the Keweenaw in 1983 with nary a human in sight for hours, they found a little hamburger shack by the side of the road next to a tiny resort and three cabins. This is where they decided to stay.....and then came winter, and it was a tough one. No plumbing, no heat, no insulation...the shack was only meant for summer visitors. All they had for warmth was a wood-burning stove. Every day a new six-inch pile of snow had was necessary to shovel every day or get snowbound.

On top of that, they had no money and no way to make any. As time went on, more monks joined the two men, who now called themselves Father Basil and Father Nicholas...but they needed to find a way to sustain themselves monetarily.  According to Father Basil in an article in the Free Press, “We really had no expertise in anything. At that time, many of the housewives of the area would just send their kids out to pick the berries — mom would make the jam and the kids would hock them at the side of the road and bring in a little extra revenue. We said, well, we can do that.”

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The monks went out and gathered as many berries as they could find and thanks to locals, learned how to make jams and preserves. But where to sell them? The answer came in that deserted burger shack that sat on their property. They called it 'The Jam Pot', began stocking their jams & preserves, and added new items continuously. Breads, brownies, candy, caramels, chocolates, coffees, cookies, fruit & nut mixes, fruitcakes, honey, jellies, muffins, pancake mix, and more. Three years since they arrived, they opened for business and sold their first items in 1986.

Pay 'em a visit – the Jam Pot is located near Jacob’s Falls, three miles east of Eagle River and five miles west of Eagle Harbor in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula at 6500 M-26 Eagle Harbor. They are only open from May thru October on these days and hours:
Sunday, Monday, Thursday: Closed
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 10am - 5pm

It's a very cool success story and you will dig it when you visit on your U.P. roadtrip. Take a look at some photos below at one of Michigan's little secret spots...

The Jam Pot, Keweenaw Peninsula


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