We are a small passionate family team here at Robbies.
We first started making pickles and preserves when we had a surprise baby and I yearned for the morsels I grew up with. The ones my Nan made. I grew up in Oamaru, around a plentiful supply of the best fruit and produce the south has to offer. It all started then most probably. Initially it was all given away to friends and family. Then they wanted to pay for it, as it was so good. And here we are.
We are now a Gore based manufacturer of original handmade preserves and have just rolled into our 5th year. I absolutely love the creative freedom in my job, the fact that people eat healthier by the methods & ingredients we use. We care a lot about that, and catering to our customers allergies and intolerances, as we want everyone to be able to eat Robbies. We know that most of you have a fond food memory of times gone by with a Mum, Dad or grandparent who made pickles and preserves. We hope to carry on that legacy for you all in our bottle and jars, created from our genuine and authentic recipes.
Like many others here, you’d previously find us at local craft markets, fairs and fetes through Southland, Otago and Canterbury. Given this is no longer possible, we have now moved online and launched our website in April 2020. If your pantries are a little short on good condiments, try some of our products today, and you’ll never want to be without them again.
Mrs Pickles, the pickled onion lady & Robbie
Seriously, people don’t use my name anymore. I am the cook and creator. I absolutely love what we create, and I hope that one day soon you will love it too! A little of my heart goes into each bottle or jar. When our last baby arrived, I really missed the food I grew up with and started cooking it. My grandmother blessed me with a love of cooking and great flavour. My grandfather blessed me with a green thumb and a love of growing. I am a combination of both of them. My favourites are the Apricot + Walnut Chutney, Green Tomato relish and the Pickled Beetroot.
Right from the start we had things we would not compromise on, like only organic molasses and heritage apples for my Nana’s Worchester Sauce, which I believe is the nicest I’ve had, and it’s so good for you! This recipe is over 50 years old. It has been a top seller from day one, it can be found in our garlic sauce range.
We grow our own chillies, tomatoes, beetroot, cauliflowers, carrots, cucumbers and garlic organically and whatever else we can, from organic seed, the flavour is so much better to! I also love the growing side which is my respite from the sales and cooking.
My trusty side-kick loves to pitch in when he is available from his ‘paid job’ . His grandfather is our name, as he flew planes in the RAF, in WW2 - Robbie was his nickname. He helps clean, label and pack orders, loads/unloads, does deliveries and pickups. (He is our muscle) He loves the products and is an aspiring cook in his own right. We trust his fine-tuned palette which has landed him the role of quality controller and chief taste tester -a job he loves! Gus’ favourites are the Hot Lime Pickle, the Garlic sauces and the Green Tomato + Jalapeno Relish.
Son no 1
Matt lives in Christchurch. He is our shifting legend! He is also a solid taste tester. He’s incredibly supportive. You may see him at a stall in Christchurch helping us.
Daughter no 1
Emily packs our food for markets, helps selling at markets, get the onions ready to peel, she loves to clean and label. She is especially good at processing fruit and vegetables for the freezer too. She also washes the tubs and big pots. Emily loves our Tomato Sauce and Bread & Butter Pickle.
Daughter no 2
Amelia loves to help with the growing. She is also a taste tester. She has a very good palette, for someone so young. She is great with the processing of fruit & vegetables, labelling and cleaning products. She helps to unpack at markets, prepares food and minds the stall. She wants to take over Robbie’s when she is older, as part of her career plans. Amelia loves the Hot Lime Pickle, Tomato Sauce and pickled Beetroot, but really eats it all.