“Some people stick to their guns on the sentiment that “bigger is better”. In the specialty food industry, though, sometimes the smallest factors have the power to set a precedent. As a company where the employee roster only includes three people, Kelly’s Jelly embodies this idea.”– Chandler, Deli Market News
Kelly’s Jelly is a family-owned, woman-run company from Lake Oswego Oregon. Kelly, Adam, and Hilary have built the Kelly’s Jelly brand from the ground up, each of them learning a new business one day at a time. At Kelly’s Jelly, the team works hard, plays harder, and laughs a lot.
As parents, Kelly, Adam, and Hilary all understand the huge benefit it has been to have their children see and be involved with what it takes to run a small business. We often hear the kids asking, “How do we get a job where we get to work with our best friends and laugh all day?!?!”
Kelly is our fun-sized, black belt leader who has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. She started her first job early in high school, continued working while attending the University of Oregon and hasn’t stopped since. Throughout her career she has held many positions, starting her company, Calabria Events when she was 25, moving into Real Estate and finally co-founding Kelly’s Jelly with her husband Adam the “Jelly Good Fellow”.
Kelly has never shied away from hard work or getting her hands dirty. If you stopped by the KJ warehouse, you could find her building a pallet of jelly, negotiating trucking rates or laughing with Hilary as they brainstorm the next great marketing idea! Thankfully, many of those ideas never made it out of the office walls. Kelly is excellent at forming and building relationships, but she has truly flourished in her ability to turn those relationships into successful partnerships. Her goal is to have everyone benefit and have fun while they are doing it.
With her long list of accomplishments, the one that she takes the most pride in is her family. She and Adam have two girls, who are always the number one focus. She makes this happen by carefully prioritizing, surrounding herself with a good team, and integrating all of her family into the business.
Co-Founder, Adam Calabria , AKA “Jelly Good Fellow” is our humble champion. A little known secret, the whole idea of Kelly’s Jelly (right down to the name) was dreamed up by Adam. Adam heads up many divisions at Kelly’s Jelly, including Production Management, Supply Chain, Research, Development and Pricing Strategy…he’s the numbers guy. The ultimate team player, Adam always shows up with a smile and genuine caring for those around him. Even though the recipe comes from Kelly’s family, it was Adam that spent day and night producing and perfecting every batch of Kelly’s award winning jelly.
On more than a few occasions, the overzealous sales team (Kelly & Hilary) have been known to sell Kelly’s Jelly flavors, not yet in existence. Under the pressure of Wife and BFF, Adam developed the entire line of Kelly’s Jelly (outside of Aunt Danny’s original Habanero Pepper Jelly recipe). Adam has always risen to the challenge, creating the tastiest ideas Kelly and Hilary can dream up. Adam is the calm sounding board, and without question the smartest person in the room.
Adam grew up in Houston and moved to Lake Oswego High School where he and Kelly met. He had an exciting tour of Colleges, beginning at Johns Hopkins, where he played football and ending with a Mathematics degree from Portland State University. Outside of work, you can find Adam golfing, playing games ,watching sports and easily winning the title, “Dad of the year.”
Hilary Smith is the Director of Operations and Sales at Kelly’s Jelly. When Hilary and her family moved back to Oregon, a mutual friend of Kelly and Hilary “set them up” and the rest is history. Before long, they were leading The Lake Oswego Moms Club together and realized, they not only worked well together, but had fun doing it.
Hilary graduated from the University of Oregon and worked in staffing and pharmaceutical industries, before finding her way to Kelly’s Jelly. She has a strong sales background, manages the never ending To-do List as well as our social media, and keeps everything organized (just like she does as a mom of her two boys with her husband, Brad).
Hilary’s extreme note taking skills and organization keep the company and the team on track. Don’t question what she remembers because she can support it with calendar evidence going back to 1990. Hilary’s ability to laugh with Kelly, speak her mind freely, and problem solve their way through the day, make her a perfect complement to the team. For Hilary, the best aspects of working at Kelly’s Jelly, are the relationships and collaborations they build with their customers. She loves learning something new everyday and balancing friendship, family and success.
The Calabria and Smith children, on their annual Christmas tree hunt.
Kelly & Adam Calabria and Hilary & Brad Smith, enjoying a night out on a beautiful summer night in Oregon.
Adam and Hilary at the 2020 Fancy Food Show in San Francisco.
Celebrating with our long time friends from Olympia Provisions at their 10 year Anniversary party.