Reinventing an old classic – putting jelly back on the dessert menu
We are a nation of inventors, tinkerers, thinkers. Geniuses, really. Like Jess Mentis, owner of ‘The Jellyologist’. Her twist on an old school dessert has seen her flavour-filled, finely crafted jellies take the world by storm.
“We supply jellies to events, wedding parties, and weddings. We work with catering companies, we’ve done TV commercials, and we’ve built jelly cities. We have a jelly bar and it’s kind of crazy to be honest. It’s been a wild, wild ride,” says Jess.
So how does someone create a career out of jelly making…? For Jess it was simply saying yes to an opportunity.
“One of the magazines I followed, they put an open call-out on Instagram to get involved with something called the 100 day project. And the idea behind that is that you practice the same activity every day for 100 days in order to kind of get better at it, understand it more and develop your skills.
“I started 3D printing these jelly moulds and then setting them with a crazy flavour and posting them on Instagram. Very unexpectedly and quite quickly it grew a bit of a following and people were like ‘we want to try this, we want to taste this, these look amazing’. And then it turned into a business out of that.
“Nobody was actually supposed to try these jellies. It was always meant to just be these photographs that were styled in a specific kind of style. There was never really a time that I was like ‘jelly is my thing’.
“Being able to expand into a business has definitely been a massive learning curve. So that’s been a challenge – transforming what was a creative experiment into something commercially viable. Instagram has definitely been the key platform and it’s still our biggest generation of leads.”
Kiwis can now create their very own jelly masterpieces at home with the Jellyologist’s first-of-a-kind jelly-making kits. The bespoke kits are made in New Zealand and available at select Countdown stores nationwide.
Learn more about The Jellyologist here or follow on Instagram: @thejellyologist