The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Faces of the Farmers Market: Julie and Joe Jillo

Julie and Joe Jillo sell their homemade jams and butters through Julie’s Sweet Ideas L.L.C.
Olivia Lauter
Julie Jillo started her homemade jam business three years ago. Jillo plans on selling salsa soon as well.

The customers line up, some regular and others new, in front of the jam-filled booth for their fix of pineapple, pineapple jalapeno, strawberry rhubarb, peach and other jams. After Julie Jillo found her jam lady at a craft show, she realized she could be her own jam lady, and through research and multiple family batches, she created Julie’s Sweet Ideas, L.L.C. 

Julie doesn’t only sell jams. Her and her husband, Joe Jillo, also sell apple butter, candied jalapenos and empanadas. 

“It’s nice to be able to have returning customers that are like, ‘I tried your apple butter, that’s the best apple butter I’ve ever had,’” Julie said. “That’s the reason why I do it. That’s what makes me feel good.”

Julie Jillo cans her goods herself after prepping and cooking the food items. Candied jalapenos were one of the items for sale at the market. (Olivia Lauter)

When Julie’s diabetic mother-in-law couldn’t enjoy her jam anymore as it made her blood sugar too high, she created reduced sugar strawberry and peach jam.  

“There’s got to be lots of people with health issues like that, so that’s when I started researching and figuring out how to do reduced sugar,” Julie said. “I didn’t want it to taste like a diet food. Now, she can eat those and enjoy them.”

Julie began making jam three years ago. She spends three to four months perfecting each new jam before selling it. During her jam-making process, Joe and her kids are her taste testers, sugar pourers and all around helpers in her “lost art.”    

“My kids love my stuff,” Julie said. “Now, if they go somewhere else, they’re like, ‘Ew that’s store bought, I don’t want that.’”

Julie works as a manager in the mortgage industry, working with people all day but finds her quiet place in the kitchen making her jam.  

“Because most of your jobs nowadays that you get, you go in, you do your eight to five, but there’s no real appreciation,” Julie said. “You don’t walk away with that feeling, ‘hey, I did that,’ and this gives you that feeling.”

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Calla Patino
Calla Patino, Editor-In-Chief
Strolling into her third year on staff, senior Calla Patino is ecstatic to be back in the newsroom as an Editor-In-Chief, leaving her summer days of folding clothes behind. If she’s not in the newsroom, she can almost always be found at Celebration Park running her miles with her teammates, trying to breathe. Towards the end of the day, Patino enjoys baking her “famous” snickerdoodles, as it’s the only recipe she has perfected in the kitchen, and flip-flopping between Netflix and Hulu. Patino loves her family’s weekly BBQs and making time to hang out with friends. Patino is obsessed with cinnamon-flavored anything, relaxing in the movie club with a bag of popcorn in her hand and traveling to South Africa. Patino hopes to go into journalism after she graduates, but as for now, she can’t wait for this school year to begin. 
Olivia Lauter
Olivia Lauter, Section Editor
Heading into her fourth and final year in TRL, senior Olivia Lauter could not be more thrilled to soak up every last minute of shooting sports, events and portraits for her favorite publication. Lauter has spent every day of her high school career with a camera around her neck, and you won’t catch her without it until graduation day. As well as being the photo editor for TRL, Lauter is a varsity cheerleader and involved in PALS and NHS. When she’s not on the sidelines with her camera or cheering on the Leopards, Lauter is with her friends, who she adores more than life itself. You will probably hear “last time, best time” and how “bittersweet” senior year is continually from Lauter this year, but she is just excited to spend one more year doing what she loves alongside the people she loves on TRL.

Comments (1)

The Red Ledger values the opinion of its readers and encourages them to discuss its content. All comments are subject to approval by The Red Ledger staff. The Red Ledger does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. Comments are reviewed as often as possible. Comments with inappropriate content will not be published. Once submitted, comments become the property of The Red Ledger. To see our full Comment Policy, visit
All The Red Ledger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • S

    Shirley TaborOct 15, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    Great story. I can vouch for how good your jams and jellies are.