Taiwanese wins gold at World Marmalade Awards

Ho Chia-wei takes home five awards at the annual competition

Ho Chia-wei at the World’s Original Marmalade Awards (photo from company Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Ho Chia-wei (何家瑋), owner of marmalade company Bonjour! Bonheur 你好,幸福 手工天然果醬 in Taiwan, won multiple medals at the World’s Original Marmalade Awards, part of the Dalemain Marmalade Festival Cumbria, in Penrith, U.K., this weekend, including a gold in the Artisan category.

Ho won a total of five medals, including two golds, a silver and two bronze. He is the first Taiwanese participant to win an award at the competition.

The gold for Ho’s passion fruit-jujube marmalade was not the top prize as Australian Dr. Lachlan Shackleton-Fergus won double gold, and entries from Canada, the U.S., Japan and Singapore were also award gold medals.

Ho started his marmalade business when he quit his job six years ago to lead a more fulfilling life, according to an Apple Daily interview. Ho said he was unhappy working as an engineer for an electronics company in Suzhou, China, and decided to return to Tainan to open a business.

Life after working as an engineer started with a position at bakery Mr. Mark (馬可先生麵包坊), where he learned to make bread. In four years at the bakery, he rose to a management position and learned about all the machinery and the business. He resigned to start the marmalade company, based on French traditions, at the age of 32.
Bonjour! Bonheur 你好,幸福 手工天然果醬 marmalade (from company Facebook page)

When he first started Bonjour! Bonheur 你好,幸福 手工天然果醬 with NT$3,000 (US$98.25), his company’s monthly revenue was only NT$5,000 and he carried NT$150,000 in debt, and he had a pregnant wife to support. Not knowing if his family could survive, he found that a customer had written a blog post about his marmalade and business began to grow through word of mouth.

The company’s monthly revenue now totals NT$40-70,000.

More than 20 countries competed in the homemade marmalade competition held at Dalemain this year, according to the organizer’s website.

The World’s Original Marmalade Awards was started in 2005 by Jane Hasell-McCosh and benefits charities, including Hospice at Home, Action Medical Research and Marie Curie in Scotland.