Meet Polsky Member of the Month: Vanessa Stevenson

Polsky Member Vanessa Stevenson sells her homemade jams and jellies at the Hyde Park Farmers Market.

Polsky member Vanessa Stevenson is the human embodiment of everything that makes the Polsky community so great.

In addition to regularly attending events held at the Polsky Exchange, Vanessa is a full-time minister and the founder of homemade jam and jelly startup, V’s Delight. While she has dabbled in whipping up batches of her sweet spreads for more than 30 years as gifts for family and friends, it’s only been in the last couple of years that she has made the effort to turn her hobby into something more.

She started casually selling her jams, jellies, and other spreads at different farmers markets around Chicago and eventually added the Hyde Park Farmers Market to her repertoire (where she can still be found every Thursday through the end of October!). She joined the Polsky Center in 2017, and she’s found her membership to be incredibly useful as she’s worked to grow her business ever since. Stevenson remarks, “Polsky has opened avenues that I never knew were possible.”

Now, in addition to her Chicago farmers market circuit, she also operates an online store so that customers from around the country can enjoy her homemade jams, jellies, butters and preserves.

Her advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs? “Don’t be scared. Take the leap of faith, and just learn as you go!”

Vanessa was also kind enough to answer a couple more questions “just for fun”…


If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Bring true peace! People need to learn to slow down and appreciate one another more.

The zombie apocalypse is coming. Who are three famous people you want on your team and why?

Dwayne Johnson, Brad Pitt, and Serena Williams.

What would the title of your autobiography be?

“Determination, Dedication, & Jammin’ All the Way”


Keep an eye out for Vanessa around the Polsky Exchange and at the Hyde Park Farmers Market! And check back next month for another member spotlight. Interested in learning more about the Polsky Exchange and membership? Learn more now.

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