Ward certainly knew the fine-food business and made important contacts over the years. And these were all advantages in later years when he started his business. His dream was to make English style marmalade. An English friend was traveling to Spain and Ward gave him money to purchase two trees of the special variety of the orange tree that was needed. These trees arrived in America and became the grafting stock for a grove that numbered over 600 trees. Those two trees thrive today, however, they are no longer on Ward land. The Ward ranch is around 2.5 acres today. Ward's big dream was to produce his own marmalade here on the ranch. In 1915 he retired as a salesman and for three years experimented with marmalade making. By 1918, satisfied he had the recipe he was seeking, he began his preserving business. The business thrived, and for years, when dining was a fine experience on trains crossing America, Ward's marmalade was the only one served on several trains. WWI also cut off food imports from overseas and Ward was ready to supply the market here. Other products have been added since then and today, marmalade is only 10% of the fine foods we produce. Behind the home, barely visible from the street, is the Ward canning factory building. Today, about 10 to 15 people are employed. Many are long-time employees. But the company will always remain small in order to preserve the high quality which is the Ward standard. Our products are made using the best ingredients and methods possible. For example, we use only pure cane sugar, not corn syrup as in most jams. This gives the best flavor. We sell only the finest imported olive oil, from the first pressing of the olives. And our marmalades are still made directly from fresh citrus (not canned peel). Carrying on this idea of the best today is Richard Ward, the third generation, and Jeff Ward, the fourth.
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