Alumni Spotlight: Jamaar Julal
From First through Sixth Grades, Jamaar was a student at PMFS, graduating in 2008 with what he calls “lifelong friends.” These are the people he still talks to every day, explaining that they are reminders of all the good memories from Plymouth. While at PMFS, Jamaar was taught to treasure different types of people and cultures and be accepting of everyone. He recalls using “mediation,” a social-emotional skill taught to PMFS students for expressing feelings, when speaking to peers about his thoughts and concerns. After graduating from PMFS and moving on to Renaissance Academy Charter School in Phoenixville, Jamaar struggled at times as he encountered classmates who had not developed a similar set of interpersonal skills.
After graduation from high school, Jamaar focused on what he enjoyed – working in a restaurant. He enrolled in the Restaurant and Hospitality Management program at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Jamaar was focused on “front of the house” positions in the restaurant, but the Executive Chef of The Restaurant School saw other talent in Jamaar and upon Jamaar’s graduation in 2019, granted him the 2019-2020 Culinary Fellowship.
Honored but nervous, Jamaar needed to make a decision – should he step out of his comfort zone in the front of the restaurant and consider being a chef in the “back of the house?” Jamaar accepted the challenge and took the position as Culinary Fellow at the Restaurant School, reminding himself that you “need to get out of your comfort zone to obtain a better outlook on yourself.”
As the Culinary Fellow at The Restaurant School, Jamaar experimented with flavors and foods, in addition to sharpening his leadership and teaching skills. This gave him the confidence and palette to perfect his kombucha flavors. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Jamaar was able to delve more deeply into his passion for fermentation and brewing kombucha. While many people were home and focused on their sourdough starters, Jamaar was home fermenting teas and experimenting with his kombucha. As friends tasted the brews and shared with others, the word and demand spread.
Jamaar has just formally established his business, JamBrü, and has started a GoFundMe to financially assist with the shift from brewing in his kitchen to a commercial space. Even if you are not able to donate, he asks that you share his story wherever possible! How do you get JamBrü kombucha? – follow JamBrü on Instagram @jambruphl or check out his website www.JamBru.com. Congratulations Jamaar!