The story of Mitch's Preserves - Robyn Mitchell
Just outside of Warrnambool, in South West Victoria, is a family who has perfected the art of making the most delicious homemade preserves. Over 30 years ago, Robyn Mitchell and her husband Stephen had a hydroponic tomato business growing and supplying tomatoes to local businesses in their region. Then, Robyn said, “any seconds leftover, we decided to make relishes and sauces we could sell at our local undercover market in Warrnambool.” However, a growing family and a series of unfortunate events led the family to abandon their grand plans in the tomato industry.
But this was not the end of the Mitchell’s business ventures. “After working as a medical receptionist for many years, and with our children mostly grown up, I with the help of my husband, decided to go back into the business of making preserves and expanding our range to include a much wider variety as well as our original tomato products.”
When it all started...
With that, in 2017, Mitch’s Preserves came to life. On offer are homemade and gluten-free preserves, including sauces, chutneys, relish, pickles, jams, butter and fruit pastes. Robyn and her family have expanded their range, “most of our recipes have been handed down through generations, some have had a modern tweak, and others have started their journey with us,” says Robyn. Made with love, they use only the freshest ingredients, straight from their garden or their fabulous local fruiterer. “We live in such a busy society nowadays, so we have decided to make delicious old fashioned preserves for those people out there who are time-poor,” she says.
Mitch’s Preserves at present is purely a family run business, with Robyn and Stephen’s daughters Lucie, Grace and Hannah helping out from time-to-time at markets, whilst Molly (another daughter) has taken home the title of ‘Chief Chopper’ when she works in the kitchen alongside her mother a couple of days a week. “We don’t have a brick and mortar store, but it’s something we would consider in the future,” says Robyn. She continued, “currently, we have a commercial kitchen up and running out of the ‘Old Killarney Pub’, which has been a godsend.”
And your favourite product is...
Like any business, there are a few fan favourites when it comes to their products. “We love them all! They wouldn’t be on our list if they didn’t pass the Mitchell test,” Robyn laughs. But, if they had to choose any, Robyn’s pick would be the Pickled Zucchini, the Fig Jam and Cauliflower Pickles.
You can find these delicious preserves in The Hamilton Hamper store and in special hampers. Robyn approached Bridget a few years back, and after bringing in a selection to try, it was decided some of Mitch’s Preserves would be featured in The Hamilton Hamper pantry. “I feel so privileged and proud to be amongst so many gorgeous products on her shelf, Bridget really looks after local producers, and her support is much appreciated,” says Robyn.
Thinking about Robyn's local region she has a few places to share with us to explore and eat at. Be sure to add them to your list when visiting Victoria.
Best places to enjoy locally are:
Robyn's favourite local areas are:
- Killarney Beach
- Hall’s Gap
- The Grampians region
Within The Hamilton Hamper, Mitch's Preserves are always a favourite. We feature Mitch's Preserves in our hamper collection.
Robyn shared with us a quick and easy meal solution which has been included in our recipe collection for you to enjoy! Lamb Burgers featuring one of the Mitch's Preserves collection.