Photo: Sara RemingtonBy Rachel Mount
Rachel Saunders, 32
Blue Chair Fruit
The Goods: A French major makes a career out of jam, creating vibrant flavors with seasonal fruit.
Her Discovery: When Saunders, a native of upstate New York, moved to California after graduating from Smith College, she became enthralled with the farmers' markets (who'd ever heard of a tayberry?). She made fruit desserts while she pondered her career plan. "One day, instead of baking another pie that would quickly go bad, I experimented with jam," she recalls. "I was instantly hooked. There's something so magical about being able to preserve fruit for another season, or send it to my parents on the East Coast."
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Her Big Decision: Saunders enrolled in a course at a small-business training center and worked in restaurants for five years before finally striking out on her own. "I wanted to make sure I was ready to commit to it as a life,