Robbies - Pickles and Preserves Wins National Food Award | whatonsinvers.nz
She’s known as Mrs Pickles but when you win an Outstanding New Zealand Food Producer award, it’s important everyone knows your real name.
Josie Robinson and her husband Gus are the owners of Robbies Pickles in Gore, and the man who the business is named after is actually a former RAF pilot from WWII who lives in England.
That’s Gus’ grandfather and he’s met the Queen twice due to his heroic feats in a plane – Robbies is a tribute to him, and the award-winning recipes they make have been passed down from Josie’s Nana.
The business has been going strong for seven years now, and many of the original recipes have modern twists and have evolved to meet people’s complex dietary needs.
Josie’s Artisan Collection Noir Garlik Black Garlic Sauce (gluten free) won a gold medal at the awards, announced today, and her Artisan Honey and Balsamic Pickled Onions a bronze.
“It’s a bit unreal to be honest,” she said when contacted.
“This is recognition on a level that I have never had before.Those people have credentials that have judged us. They are the whose who of the food world.”
Josie grew up in Oamaru where fruit and vegetables were plentiful, and when she first became a mother she yearned for the food she had as a child.
“I have always loved great flavour but had no idea that it would lead to where I am now.”
This was the first time she had entered her original handmade preserves into a national award, and she was finally beginning to feel okay about taking risks with her products.
Josie works up to 16 hours a day and sometimes seven days a week to get her products out to suppliers around New Zealand, and right now she is stockpiling onions for the upcoming summer markets and shows.
She said she needs to peel three tonnes in the next three months before heading to shows with her artisan products in Wanaka, Christchurch, Nelson and Tauranga.
“We sold 100 jars of pickled onions at the Wanaka Show last time. But we’d sell a whole heap more if we had the time to make them.”
Story credit: Whatsoninvers.nz