We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Roy-Toler and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lauren, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea of creating my canning business, in many ways has been cultivating in the background of my life off and on for several years… my husband is a very talented gardener, and I’ve canned our abundant bounty to extend the life and use of our produce for personal use and to share with friends. Canning started like many other projects in my life- I threw myself into it, figured it out as I went- and when I didn’t know something I found someone who did and would be willing to teach me; or I just kept trying until I got it right.

What finally spurred me into getting serious and trying to have a go; was my good friend Nancy, who came back from a trip and asked me if I could try and recreate a jam she’d sampled. It all started with that Raspberry Ginger Jam (one of my best sellers)- she told me it was good enough to sell, she then told me if I decided to move forward, she’d create my branding and that she and her husband would let me sell my jars at their restaurant Wood & Grain Bistro in Bedford, TX.

Coming up with a name proved to be challenging- I didn’t want to go with something boring like Lauren’s Jams- I also didn’t want to limit myself with jam/jellies in the title. I started digging into what was meaningful to me, and what would sound professional and catch attention. I kept coming back to my mom… my mom taught me how to cook/bake, and to do so very well with robust flavor and flair; she instilled my confidence to tackle anything in the kitchen and a love for feeding people. As a homage to her memory (we lost her in July 2018) I came to Daybreak- the meaning of her name, Dawn. Cannery soon followed as that’s what I do- I’m a cannery not limited to just jams or jellies. It’s something that I think she would love and be proud of.

Shortly thereafter I started selling two flavors at my friend’s restaurant- I then took to social media as one does and began spreading my name around, gathering an audience, and customers- while also expanding flavor profiles. In January of 2021 I started getting inquiries from local charcuterie businesses asking if I sold smaller jars, by March I was offering 1.5 ounce jars, which then led to the 4 ounce jars. I strive to make flavors not easily found on grocery store shelves, I love taking something very familiar and elevating it and adding complexity.

I never thought what started as a hobby could fill me with such pride, make me excited, all while also providing extra income to my family which has allowed me the opportunity to continue being a stay-at-home mom. It has given me something of my own to keep challenging myself to do better, be more creative, but most of all feed people. I took a leap into the unknown and I’m so glad I was willing to bet on myself.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Canning has been around for ages, its hard to improve on a well-practiced art; but I’ve tried very hard to come up with unique flavor combinations. To set myself apart I have taken great pride in using many homegrown fruits and vegetables that come from my own backyard. I know what they’ve been grown in, I know where they come from… that’s not something many people can attest to. I also make batches of my products when I have orders, the jams I’m releasing to customers are often less than 48hrs old, and while properly canned things have a shelf life of one year, nothing beats when it’s freshly made… do you know how long those jars have been sitting on grocery store shelves when you buy them?

What excites me most is being able to show my children firsthand what success and dedication looks like; and how everyone’s version of sucess is measured differently. Having a small business ran out of my home provides them with a front row seat to seeing me try new things, have brainstorming sessions, they also witness how I deal with failure and my attitude towards it.
To me being successful means being proud of my product, I’m not willing to take shortcuts or provide subpar quality. I strive to offer the best; I’m constantly looking for ways to improve what I provide to my customers to exceed their expectations. I love creating new flavor combinations that are unexpected and exciting to try. The extra income has allowed for my family to have adventures and memories made that we might not have been able to do otherwise. Having this time with my children, and at times actively involving them makes me very proud.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Friday we are spending a day in Fort Worth- we will have a beautiful brunch at Cafe Modern looking out onto the reflection pond which is located in the Modern Art Musuem. The food is so artistic and delightful to look at as well as eat… don’t forget the mimosas! After we finish eating, we’ll walk around and see what current art exhibits they are hosting. When we’ve wrapped up our tour, we’ll head down the road to the Montgomery Street Antique Mall, I hope they brought their walking shoes; if you’ve never been inside the antique mall, take a day and go; there are treasures hidden in all sorts of alcoves and tucked into corners. If we need sustenance, we can eat there at the Secret Garden Restaurant- they have wonderful tea sandwiches, or quiche and soup, we want to keep it light at this point we still have the second half of the mall to get through. By the time we finish shopping we’re going to need a hearty dinner to prepare for our long night ahead, so off to Hanabi Ramen where I’ll be getting the Baisen Miso Ramen- the broth is to die for, and who doesn’t love pork belly and a soft-boiled egg… I’m drooling just thinking about it. Now it’s back to the house to change and get ready to party because we are going to Studio80!!! We are going to dance and drink the night away listening to all the 80’s classics from Cindy Lauper to Def Leppard… and if we need to get in touch with our inner millennial selves, we can move into the second room that has a smaller strobing dancefloor and get down with all our favorite (90’s jams…. Spice Girls and NSYNC, anyone? Saturday we’re going to be moving a little slow, so we’ll sleep in and then go grab brunch at Wood & Grain Bistro in Bedford, TX. I highly recommend the Chicken & Waffles with breakfast potatoes or The Brekky to help soak up last night’s cocktails. After brunch we’ll go grab a nap for an hour or two before deciding to head to downtown Grapevine to walk Main St and check out the funky shops. There’s some super adorable boutiques and interesting shops to poke around in. For dinner that night we’ll stay on Main and go to Main Street Bistro & Bakery, we can relax with a glass of wine; we’ll start with the Mixed Mushroom Flatbread and for the star of the night I suggest either the Duck Confit or the Short Ribs Beef Bourguignon, and to finish the night we’ll split a St. Honore Cake.
Sunday we’re lounging around the house, I’ll eventually cook us breakfast and if we feel up for it, we’ll go check out one of the local nature trails located in DFW to work off some of the indulgences we’ve partaken in, plus we could use the fresh air. The rest of the day can be spent resting or casually hitting other local shops- I’ll leave that up to them!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Daybreak Cannery happened because of my sweet friend, Nancy (owner of Dang Design Co and co-owner of Wood & Grain Bistro). She’s something of a boss lady herself, she continues to push me to expand, take chances, but she also keeps me looking professional and like I have some idea of what I’m doing. She created my branding, something I am forever grateful for because it’s something that’s often complimented and easily identifiable, she gave me a vision to run with- and she always provides helpful and constructive feedback. My husband and kids are excellent taste testers, they have provided me the space to take over our home kitchen, create and be messy and sometimes unruly when things aren’t going according to plan. They give me grace and patience- something anyone who runs a small business needs in LARGE quantities. My husband, Wade got crash courses in learning how to apply labels and pack orders when I’ve got a backlog- that task seems so small, but it is not a thankless one- so thank you, booboo!
I also appreciate my grandmother watching my two littles when I’ve needed an empty house or to run deliveries to customers- she’s my rock and always lends me an ear when I need to talk out new flavor ideas or trouble shoot jam problems.
Shoutout to Metro Sign Center for providing me excellent labels that they sometimes have to run for me on the fly- you’ve saved me lots of hurdles by providing a quality product that stands up to the test of time on my jars.
And last, but not least a HUGE thank you to my customers- you keep coming back, you keep sending new people my way, you keep sharing my product. Without my customers I’m a sitting duck- the exposure my charcuterie clients have provided me is unmatched to anything I’ve been able to do on my own.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daybreakcannery

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daybreakcannery

Image Credits
Briana Roy Nancy Dang

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