Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - 34

Hometown HEROES
By Laura Berrios
Mike Massey: 'Jam Man'
brings happiness to many
M
ike Massey is often called the " Jam Man, " and for good
reason. The retired industrial engineer from Decatur
makes delicious jams that are so packed with fruit that
the goodness sits on top of an English muffin instead of disappearing
into the crevices.
His homemade jams are also blessing thousands of people
in Gwinnett County.
For the last three years, Massey has given about 11,000
jars of his homemade fruit jams to people served by the
Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry, a Christian organization
that provides food to people in need in Lawrenceville and
Dacula.
Massey connected to the co-op ministry through his church,
Lawrenceville Presbyterian, where his son-in-law is pastor. The
congregation is encouraged to help with food donations and
service. He started supplying the jam in October 2020 and has
no plans to stop.
For each 1,000th jar, Massey attaches a $20 bill on top. He
wrapped the 10,000th jar like a present, adding a personal note
and gift card.
The 72-year-old discovered his fascination with jams and
jellies early in life. His mother and grandmother made guava jelly
when he was growing up in South Miami.
" I would see [Mom] making jellies and jams, and I think I
remember helping her when I got a little older. Somewhere along
the line, I got inspired to try and make them myself, " he says.
34 Georgia Magazine February 2024
Jam-making
became a hobby
that he has
continued in
retirement. Massey
has two adult
daughters and three grandchildren.
One year, he and one of his daughters made almost 200 jars
of peach jam as party favors for her wedding. It was his first time
making a large quantity of fruit jams.
He's given jars to friends, family members and even
strangers. Before finding the co-op ministry, he supplied another
nonprofit organization with his hot jellies and jams for many
years. His hot pepper mango jam was a favorite.
Massey experiments with flavors and fruit combinations
and scours weekly grocery flyers for deals on fruit. Every batch
requires 3-1/2 to 4 pounds of fruits.
Massey says he hopes his donations bring happiness to
those claiming jars of jam at the ministry.
" If my jar of gourmet-quality jam brings a smile [to] their
face and their kid's face, then I've done what I wanted to do, "
he says.
Laura Berrios is a freelance writer based in Alpharetta.
To support Mike Massey's jam-making donations or the Lawrenceville
Cooperative Ministry, go to lawrencevilleco-op.org.
COURTESY MIKE MASSEY
COURTESY MIKE MASSEY
http://www.lawrencevilleco-op.org

Georgia Magazine - February 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - February 2024

Contents
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - 4
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - 5
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - 6
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - 7
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - 8
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - 9
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - 10
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Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - 24
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Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - 33
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - 34
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - February 2024 - Cover4
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