We had the good fortune of connecting with Liljana Poli Daniel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Liljana, what do you attribute your success to?
When I was younger, I always watched my grandmother and my mother make jam together. Growing up in Sweden, we had to keep ourselves busy during the dark months of the year and jam was one of those things. They put love and effort into making the jam and when it was done it transformed into delicious flavors. I watched as they bonded over something as simple as jam. My grandmother told me once that her and my great grandmother used to do the same when she was younger back in the Middle East. As an Assyrian from the Middle East, jam and marmalade has always been a part of my heritage. I remember I used to eat it with homemade bread and cream cheese everyday.

One day when I was older, I decided to help them out. It was a life changing experience. So when I moved to the United States in 2019, I had a lot of free time and a garden filled with fruits. I decided to try out my great grandmothers recipes. The more I made, the more it became clear to me that I needed to share it with the world.

They motivated me and they are the reason for my success. I would not have been able to create Lilly’s marmalade without them.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Lily’s Marmalade is a small business I created not too long after moving to Phoenix, Arizona in 2019. The project was something I had been working on for a while before finally launching in June 2020. This had been a challenging year for all of us, but with the quarantine and the stay-at-home orders, I got the opportunity to really focus on a passion of mine – jam making! The recipes I use have been a part of my family for over four generations, and with that sort of history, there comes a lot of pressure when I’m making my own jam. I had spent hours in the kitchen with my mother back in Sweden learning the tricks of the trade, and getting the sweetness and texture of our family recipe just right. Perfecting our jam recipes was a huge challenge, but over the years, I learned from my mistakes, tweaked some of the processes, and really grew into my role as a jam maker. There is still so much more for me to learn, and so many fruits and flavors to experiment with, and I am excited to see what comes next!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My absolute favorite things to do here in Phoenix are going to different farmers markets. I would definitely take them to the Uptown Farmers’ market and the Downtown Phoenix Farmers market. The best way to spend your weekend. I do love nature a lot so the Desert Botanical garden and/or the Japanese friendship garden are a must! We would visit Novel ice cream which is located in Downtown Phoenix for a donut ice cream sandwich, it’s delicious!! We would also walk around the Art district which is a couple of minutes away from the ice cream shop. There are a lot of cool restaurants, bars and gastro pubs there. An evening well spent!

But the most important thing we would do would be driving up north to Sedona and Flagstaff when the leaves are changing or when it snows. It reminds me a lot of Sweden and I love it! In Sedona we would hike one of the many trails they have there and just enjoy the nice weather and fresh air. In Flagstaff we would go to a couple of local breweries and find a good restaurant to eat at. There are so many things I love to do here, it’s so hard to choose from.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to My mother and my grandmother

Website: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSey6jNLl0OZiE9gwOkA8PSTIYfwmCQoYzPQTbCtN54b0cL8HA/viewform?usp=pp_url

Instagram: Lillysmarmalade

Facebook: Lilly’s Marmalade

Other: Private Instagram: Liljanapolidaniel

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