CUNLIFFE & WATERS
A legendary brand in the Yarra Valley, Cunliffe & Waters has been creating a range of high quality condiments and preserves since 1996. Established in the Yarra Valley by Amanda Cunliffe, the brand has built a well deserved reputation as a producer of some of the finest handmade preserves in Australia. Their consistency has drawn long term loyalty by venues all around the country and Stones has enjoyed a ten-year relationship with the brand.
Recently sold to long term employees of the business, Simone and Josh, we popped in to visit them and the team to see what they were cooking up. The space is surprisingly small given the brands output. The small operation works hard for high demand with some clients ordering up to 16 buckets of relish a week. “Having the consistency and reliability of great relishes, chutneys and jams means one less thing for a restaurant or café kitchen to worry about” Simone tells us.
The team of local ladies clearly love what they do. They tell us, “All we talk about is food.” “And wine!” another lady chimes in and they all giggle. From cutting to juicing, it’s obviously a very hands on process. Determined to deliver the best product, they will hand squeeze lemon halves rather than buying in bottles of lemon juice. Rae their resident award winning jam maker explains, “You just don’t get the pectin level you need in the juice bottles.” Pectin being a naturally occurring substance in fruits that, when heated with sugar, thickens to a consistency perfect for jams and jellies.
The Cunliffe & Waters range is predominately made using local ingredients with orders dropped off by farmers and orchardists themselves. Not exclusively sold to venues, the products can be found in produce stores and at the monthly farmers market at Yering Station, where you can try before you buy. Amanda is still playing an active role in the brand which from the beggining has been brought up on a philosophy to “create each batch as if we are making some jars for ourselves with a few left over for friends.”