Palmyra, VA – Carolyn Herbert is the creator of Herbert’s Wine Jelly, a gourmet, award-winning specialty food product, but what is truly unique is Herbert’s hiring practice: she hires individuals who were formerly incarcerated or struggle with mental health issues.
“We had a family member with mental health issues, and it was next to impossible for this person to attain or retain any job,” recalls Herbert. “He does have a felony conviction, which made it doubly hard. I’d retired from 40 years as a special education school administrator and I felt that there was something that we could offer that was really needed.”
With her family member in mind, Herbert and her husband took their wine jelly idea and decided to start their business. As their popularity grew, they were able to expand into a more formal company and decided Herbert’s Wine Jelly would be for people who may not otherwise find employment.
Herbert and her husband take nothing from the company; 100 percent of all profits go back to the employees.
Herbert’s Wine Jelly has already helped take two employees off all federal assistance.
“That's really what my business is about,” says Herbert. “Yes, we make a nice product. Yes, we need people to support of our products to expand our kitchen space, but I am so proud of these guys, especially those who are currently incarcerated. They're not bitter about being there. They have hope and they share that hope with the other people in there. Some of them may not be out for another 10 years. What do they have to be hopeful about? Well, there is somebody on the outside who is willing to support that hope.”
For more information on Herbert’s Wine Jelly, visit www.herbertswinejelly.com