UNDER THE PICKLE TREE began in 2010 when Kelly realised she wanted to live and work in her community of rural Panton Hill, rather than commute to the city to work.
HAVING GROWN UP in the Yarra Valley, she witnessed the transformation of that region to from dairy farms to wine grapes and boutique food products and she believed a similar transformation could occur in her region now known as Artisan Hills.
KELLY HAD ALWAYS BEEN food obsessed and this love of flavours only intensified after she spent a couple of years living and working in Thailand and Vietnam – where street food is king!
A BUMPER VEGETABLE CROP in her home garden in 2010 got her bottling and thinking and the idea of a preserving company was born. Her daughter Aisha and her friend Rosy came up with the original designs for a pickle tree.
SIX MONTHS of recipe development followed where Kelly inherited some of her husband’s grandmother’s recipes. Other recipes such as the Asian Apple Sauce and Lemongrass Paste were totally unique! The curry paste range was created by her then business partner Sarah McLeish and it is the breadth of the Under the Pickle Tree range and its uniqueness that has seen it grow in popularity.
AFTER HER BUSINESS PARTNER left the business in 2011, Kelly was joined in her home kitchen by her friends and kitchen hands Janine Molinaro and Jo Bakewell. They work hard often bottling up to 170 jars in one day but always end with a shared lunch on the veranda cooked by Kelly with a Vietnamese coffee at the end!
UNDER THE PICKLE TREE can be found at Hurstbridge, Fairfield and Eltham Farmers Markets. Helping Kelly at the markets is another of her friends Gina Whittley, who also did time as a kitchen hand!
COOKING CLASSES are now running in a purpose-built commercial kitchen on Kelly and Matthew’s bush block in Panton Hill. A range of Asian cooking classes are offered and during the school holidays there are kids classes too!