MEET THE PRODUCER: JUSTIN FROM DRUNKEN SAILOR CANNING CO.
So Justin, what’s the story behind Drunken Sailor?
After 4 years of making jams from home and supplying cafes locally, I finally took the leap to expand my business. I found myself a gorgeous old Butcher’s shop which I converted into my kitchen. Almost 3 years later, Drunken Sailor is steadily growing as more and more cafes, restaurants and stores stock my jams, relishes and mustards as well as use them in some of their dishes which is awesome to see.
What values are important to you and your business?
I like to work closely with and get to know my suppliers, distributors, wholesalers and most importantly, the consumer whenever I can. It’s important that they know where the product comes from and the hard work and story behind it.
I also like to act as a mentor to anyone wanting to start out in the industry themselves. Knowledge is power and it’s meant to be shared. I made mistakes when I first started out because I didn’t have anyone to give me the advice I needed, which is why I love to pass on what I know and what I have learned in this whole process.
Who’s involved in the process - from produce to final product?
I source all of my produce from various local suppliers. After that, it’s all down to me, myself and I. In my little converted space, I cook, package and deliver my entire range of products personally. It’s great after a hot and busy morning cooking, to get out and drive across Sydney to a small cafe and see their faces light up at the sight of the delivery, as well as to catch up over coffee.
What’s the ‘why’ behind Drunken Sailor?
I merely wanted to bring a bit of fun and humour to the table. Jam has always seemed pretty boring to me, so I wanted to make a change. It’s as simple as that. All of my flavours err on the experimental side, just the way I like it.
As you know, we’re lovers of great design. What is the story behind your brand/product design?
My good mate and designer Ingrid Kool-Clarke geniously created my Drunken Sailor logo. We both agreed that the logo should be a fun yet simple design that really was what it said on the jar. And so the old sailor man was born.
At Pretty Green, we’re all about small batch, sustainable and most importantly, yummy food. What does small batch mean to you?
To me, small batch is the collection of love, sweat and tears that have gone into that tiny jar you keep at the back of your fridge. It’s the appreciation that someone has spent years creating a recipe then cooked and bottled it for you to savour and enjoy.
What is your personal favourite product in your range and why?
It would have to be my newest release - Whisky Piccalilly. Its’ spreadable crunchy pickles go with just about anything and make any cheese board or simple sandwich pop with flavour. It makes my mouth water and I just can’t stop eating it.
How would you describe the flavours of your products?
I think my flavours are ultimately pretty simple when you taste them. They are created to enhance the flavours of whatever you have with it, not to eat on their own. The jars I make need a little bread, and rich cheese. For example, if you want to take a bacon and egg roll to the next level, my Smokey Tomato Relish is the bomb.
You’re based in Dulwich Hill, what’s the best thing about living and working there?
It’s a great little community here. There are so many small time producers like myself just doing what they love and we love to support one another in any way we can.
Not only do we love the way food tastes, but we also love the way it makes you feel and the memories it creates. What’s your favourite food memory?
I can’t really put it down to a specific food moment as each one is so unique. Whether it’s with a bunch of great friends, first dates, favourite restaurants, or mind-blowing locations, they all create memories in their own distinctive way.
What’s your favourite farmers market?
For me, I can’t beat a trip down to Carriageworks Markets. They showcase the best producers in Sydney in an equally as amazing place. It’s one for the weekend.
What’s your favourite meal and why?
I’m easily pleased. As long as I’m surrounded by good friends and good food I’m a happy man. I don’t think you can beat a long boozy Sunday lunch in the sun with your favourite people.