Team Chapala Farms: 

Jason Banks, Bubs (in the middle), and Michelle Decaris.

Jason Banks and Michelle Decaris, both born and raised in Santa Barbara, met in the spring of 2008 and moved together to a house on Chapala Street with a generous yard, perfectly suited for a vegetable garden.  Chapala Farms, an urban backyard farm, was born. Over the course of the next few years raised beds were built, chickens and ducks found a home and a beehive was adopted.  They began making jam for family and friends and were invited to join the monthly artisan market at the local Williams Sonoma store. With the passing of the Cottage Food Law in California, they officially launched Chapala Farms. Their line of jams, jellies and marmalades is produced with ingredients sourced from local farmers markets. Pomona’s Pectin, a citrus-based pectin, is used which allows the adjustment of sweetener depending on the ripeness of the fruit.

Jason is a chef who has worked locally as well as throughout the country.  Michelle has a background in retail sales, merchandising and accounting. Jason develops the recipes, sources the ingredients and creates the products; Michelle handles sales, marketing and social media.