The Columns

A Sweet Partnership to Combat Diabetes

— by on August 14th, 2012

A new partnership between a Georgia specialty-syrup company and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University is supporting diabetes education in high-risk communities. It’s the result of another partnership, that of Harry Jones III, a member of W&L’s Class of 1978, who owns the company, Blackberry Patch, and his sister, Randy Jones, who serves on the dean’s council of the Rollins School.

Blackberry Patch, which Harry co-owns with Randy Harvey, operates in Thomasville, Ga. The pair had been wanting to promote good health through diabetes prevention, so after sister told brother about Emory’s Diabetes Training and Technical Assistance Program (DTTAC), a partnership was born.

Blackberry Patch contributes proceeds from sales of its sugar-free and no-sugar-added fruit syrups to DTTAC, easing the costs of training for lifestyle coaches in communities with populations at high risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Harry, who holds a B.S. in commerce from W&L, has enjoyed a long career in the food business, including restaurants and distribution. He and Randy Harvey took over Blackberry Patch in 1999; the company has been around since 1988. It produces more than 50 items that are carried by such retailers as Cracker Barrel, Cabela’s, Le Gourmet Chef, The Fresh Market and Whole Foods.

You can read more about the partnership and Harry’s company on the Blackberry Patch website.