Jams made with love

The Lee Esther Story

The story of the best jam in town!

It All Started With A Mother And Her Jam

The inspiration for Lee Esther’s Premium Jams, Spreads and Savories had its origin well over 55 years ago when Lee Esther Marie Clark Long began producing fruit jams, pies, cakes, and doughnuts for her husband, three children, mother-in-law and friends.

Mrs. Esther, as my friends called her, was born in 1923 in Lancaster County, South Carolina. She was the sixth of seven children. As a child, her parents moved to Kannapolis, NC. In 1943, Mrs. Esther graduated from George Washington “Carver” High School, Kannapolis, N.C.

She furthered her education by graduating from Bands Beauty College, Charlotte, N.C. in March of 1944. She also completed two years of study at Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C. where she majored in Education. When children came, she tabled her education to be a stay at home mom to provide a warm, nurturing safe home until her children became school age.

Although she remained home for several years, she was a business woman who worked from home supporting her young family. She was the proud owner and operator of Esther’s Beauty Shop located in the home. Mrs. Esther created many other in home businesses, for which she was fondly known for during the years. She was a travel-tourist agent, a pastry chef, and a seamstress, making clothing and decorative bed covers.
As one of her three children, along with several nieces and nephews, growing up in the Kannapolis and Landis, North Carolina area, we were blessed to be in a place loaded with plenty garden fresh produce, wild growing berries, and an abundance of natural growing fruit trees. At both my Grandmother’s home and our home, there were wild cherry trees, red and yellow plum trees, red and yellow apple, pear, persimmon, and fig trees. As children, we always enjoyed the best tasting jams, jellies, pies and confections; and they all were made from scratch by mom. When it came down to certain fruit, breakfast, and dessert items, as siblings we very spoiled. Our mother could make anything.

A few years before she passed in 2014, my mother told me what made her jams so special. When asked if there was any special secret to how she produced the many jams and jellies she made for us as children, her response was, “just love.” So, on a “humbug,” using her expertise and detailed instruction for fruit jams, I began sharing some of her jams by giving them to neighbors, friends and family at Christmas time. After many complements, returned empty jars with requests for refills, and words of encouragement, I felt it was time to share what Lee Esther inspired with all of you.

In honor of my dear mother, I created LEML Enterprises – the producer of Lee Esther’s Premium Spreads and Savories. I hope you enjoy what she gave to us, and in doing so become one of many Lee Esther’s Premium Homemade Spreads supporters.