The internet loves a good story, and true to form, an incredible chance-encounter story behind a popular jam maker has gone viral—although whether it’s true or not hasn’t been confirmed.
The Bonne Maman jam is well-known the world over for its distinctive black and white homestyle labels and red and white gingham lids, and now, thanks to this story, it is believed the company’s founders were anti-nazi and hid Jewish families in Paris during World War Two.
The story was first shared on Twitter in February by Professor Michael Perino. The law professor wrote in a series of Tweets:
Incident in a NJ Supermarket At the supermarket today, I found a small, elderly woman standing in front of a high shelf holding @BonneMamanUS preserves. She was having trouble finding the flavor she wanted because the jars were set back on the shelf.
She couldn’t read the labels. She could barely reach them. I offered to help. After I handed here the raspberry preserves, she thanked me, paused, and then asked, “Do you know why I buy this brand?” I laughed and replied, “Because it tastes good?”
“Yes, it tastes good.” She paused again. “I am a Holocaust survivor.” This was not the conversation I expected on a Sunday grocery run.
“During the war, the family that owns the company hid my family in Paris. So now I always buy it. And whenever I go to the store, my grandkids remind me, ‘Bubbe, don’t forget to buy the jelly.’”
I told her that that was the best reason I ever heard to buy any company’s product. And then we both smiled behind our masks and went our separate ways.
Naturally, everyone who saw the Tweets wanted to believe the story and swore to buy Bonne Maman jam as a result. However, when the Jewish Telegraphic Agency attempted to confirm the story, they were met unable to confirm the founders, who are notoriously secretive, engaged in such activities during the war.
“The family prefers to maintain privacy and does not comment on inquiries about personal matters,” Bonne Maman told the publication in a statement.
So, not confirmed, but also not denied, and a heartwarming read in any case.