Krista Scudlark, AS80
Krista Scudlark graduated from the University of Delaware in 1980 with a degree in Anthropology, but for the past 20 years, she has been making homemade jams, jellies, and relishes for her business Backyard Jams and Jellies.
At UD, Scudlark enjoyed taking anthropology and oceanography classes. She took various graduate level marine science classes, and this led to her employment at the College of Marine Studies. During her time at the University, Scudlark was also a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha.
“My most fond memory was from my first week on campus, when I was placed in temporary housing in the basement of Warner Hall, with 20 other girls,” she says. “I didn't know a single soul on campus, but we immediately bonded, and I remain friends with a few of them still. I went on to live in Warner Hall for two years, and I loved it. It was great to be on main campus, close to everything. I also enjoyed sledding on Pencader hill using "borrowed" dining hall trays!”
Scudlark grew up outside of Baltimore, and she now resides in Milton, Delaware, where she harvests rhubarb, beachplums, grapes, tarragon, and mint for her jams, jellies, and marmalades. Her recipes are unique and interesting, like Mango Hot Pepper Jelly, Pear Raspberry Jam, champagne mustard, and spiced cranberries. Her Bread and Butter Pickles and Beach Plum Jelly are family recipes. What began as a hobby quickly transformed into a time-consuming career.
“Initially I started making them for my family's use and to give away as gifts,” Scudlark says. “About 20 years ago I started selling them at the Milton Holly Festival, and my neighbor, who owned the old Franklin Hardware in Lewes, offered to carry a few jars by the cash register in her store. They ended up selling well, so I started branching out to other local stores and markets. Two years ago I began selling at the Lewes Farmer's Market, which has turned out to be a great experience.”
Today, Krista’s products are available in quite a few local stores in the Southern Delaware area, such as Lewes, Rehoboth, Millville, Dover, and Milford. Some nearby restaurants even use her products in their recipes. She says, “My Country Apricot Mustard is currently being used to make Backyard Pork Chops at the Tavern on the Circle in Georgetown, and The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has been using my Strawberry Jam for their Peanut Butter and Jelly Fudge.” Now, she makes over 30 difference flavors or preserves, and she recently added a line of sugarless jams for health conscious customers. In 2008, Scudlark earned first place in the Delaware State Fair for her jams and jellies.
Krista says her family has a long legacy at the University.
“My paternal grandfather (John M. LeCato) was a Professor of Plant Physiology, men's track coach (1919-1921), and first Cross-Country coach (1919-1920) at UD. My husband Joe has been employed at the School of Marine Science and Policy nearly 30 years, my son Zachary is scheduled to graduate in January with a degree in Music Education, and my daughter Renah, who is a high school senior, is applying for admission to UD's class of 2014. These past 4 years we've enjoyed the opportunity to attend football and basketball games, concerts, etc. as a way to get reacquainted with the campus in Newark.”