If you have been fortunate enough to see Sarah Jane’s product in stores around the area, and even luckier to have tried some of it, it has a story of where it all began.  For Sarah Jane May, it all started with “the desire to stay home and raise my children, which is the foundation that launched gardening, canning and eventually sharing my food creations.  I was laid off in 2009 with one small child and another on the way. After searching my work options I realized my weekly check would be paying for daycare and not much else. I decided to take charge of my own destiny by raising my children, while continuing to contribute to our household income by means of planting a garden and raising our own food to reduce the grocery bill. Canning became a part of that to fill the pantry for winter. A lot of times I would have a surplus and shared with others. They wanted to pay me for the goodness I was giving them in jars, so the venture of Sarah Jane’s was born.”
Sarah says she currently “has seven products: mild green tomato salsa, medium green tomato salsa, hot green tomato salsa, black bean & corn salsa - this is a fresh (not canned) salsa only available in June, July and August; jalapeno jelly, jalapeno relish, and jalapeno mustard.”
In the nearly ten years since it all started, she says “the business has successfully grown each year. My husband, Shane, has worked at Cessna/Textron for twenty years, and recently retired early to help manage the growth of Sarah Jane's and allow us to overcome more obstacles together as a team This year will be our biggest challenge ever as we move from a shared commercial kitchen in Haysville to our own building in Argonia. We are currently remodeling the building, putting in a commercial kitchen and expect it to be up and running by the end of the month.”
Sumner County continues to be an important market for Sarah Jane.  “My husband Shane grew up in Conway Springs. We just moved back to the area a little over a year ago from Wichita. Interestingly enough, I grew up in Argonia. So, it seems the business is coming full circle as we prepare to open a kitchen there. Everything is falling into place. I think the secret of our success has been patience and slow continuous growth. We never took out a large loan; we just saved money,  lived smart,  and had the patience to grow slowly. I always say the business grew with our children, who are now eleven and seven. Our patient efforts are beginning to pay off as we see our goals being achieved by having and owning our own commercial kitchen and being a part of the communities where we were raised.”
Sarah says that future plans for the business include expanding into new retail locations throughout Kansas, making the product readily available to customers who currently have to have it shipped to them. Additional new products are being considered that will compliment what they already offer. She says she “is most excited about fresh updated labels that will roll out in 2018 giving our products a new look as we transition to Argonia.”
Products are available near Wellington at the following retail locations:  Raider Pride Grocery-114 S. Main, Argonia; Kanokla Networks-21 N Main, Caldwell; Iris Blossoms-505 E Ross, Clearwater; Hired Man’s Grocery-424 N. 5th, Conway Springs; Bittersweet-1710 E. Madison #400, Derby; Sarah Jane’s-137 Pirner Suite 1, Haysville; Mollie’s Attic-213 N. Main, Kingman; Country Creek Spa-114 W. Main, Mulvane.  It is also available at other locations outside the area throughout Kansas.
Product ordering and recipes are available on the website sarahjanesalsa.com.