In creating "A Box Of", not only do I want it to be the "go-to" place for beautiful, unique & thoughtful gifts of kindness but also a place that supports & promotes women who are making their dreams their reality. I've been chatting with two very talented sisters. Last week our interview was with artist Brenda Stone and today it's with her sister Rosanne Stone - creator, maker and cook! So much creative talent in one family!
Rosanne produces the flavoured salts we have in some of our real estate gift boxes (tradition says that gifting salt as a housewarming gifts is "so life always has flavour") we also included some of Rosanne's delicious chutney's in a corporate clients Christmas hamper we put together this year. Over to Rosanne...
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am 35 yo and have been a Flight Attendant for over 12 years, always worked in customer service, I still fly part time and I sell my products at the Markets in Brisbane on the weekends. I live in Brisbane with my rescue dog blue heeler, Bellah.
How and why did you get into cooking
I love reading cookbooks and would sit down on the couch and plan a whole 3 course menu for friends or try to cook as many recipes out of a Donna Hay magazine as I could! After moving to Brisbane I loved visiting the local farmers markets on closing time where the produce would be discounted, I could pick up a whole box of tomatoes or strawberries for $10! So I decided to make Jams and Relishes with old CWA recipes or some I just googled. These were perfect for gifts for my friends and family and always made with love as I had just bought my first home so it was also a cheaper gift I could give!
When did you decide to make a business out of creating artisan jars of produce?
A close friend told me my Jam was that good, she had not tasted Jam like that in years and I should sell it at the local markets! Even her partner loved my Marmalade, it had all the rind, it was tasty thick and chunky, nothing like the supermarkets, and he is quite picky! I had the support of so many people around me also telling me the same, so as I was looking for a newer direction in life, I decided to give it a go, get a Food License, buy a van and take my goods to the markets on my days off. I started my first market in October 2015.
How do you decide what flavours to create?
I love classic flavours, but I also love giving things an extra twist, for example: I add Vanilla Bean to a few of my Jams for that extra luxe and delicate essence. I also google/search in cookbooks recipes when I would get an oversupply of produce to see if I could make anything from what is in season. The seasons also decide what Jam/Chutney I have available, making it freshest and tastiest to enjoy while the produce is at its peak.
Do you have a favourite?
Rhubarb + Vanilla Bean Jam and the Beetroot Relish
What's next for you?
I am happy with the consistency I have shown at the markets with many customers still loving my jars since the start, so I will continue to bring my products direct to the people in Brisbane, however I will focus on having a balance in the new year with more ‘me’ time with mini holidays and hopefully more time to bake/cook for my friends and family again!
How do you juggle all the different things going on in your life?
Haha! It certainly is a juggle and it can get very overwhelming at times, but I have firstly learnt to prioritise which can be hard when you have so much going on, but I make lists and little lists inside those lists, it works!! I enjoy walking the Sandgate beach with my dog for fresh air, yoga to centre myself, and I do love a good nap when I can to recoup!
What are your favourite things about living in Brisbane?
I am very lucky to live close to one of the richest food producing areas of SEQ, being Sunshine Coast, Stanthorpe or the Lockyer Valley, so I have access to the best produce direct from the farmers that I collect each weekend from the markets or drive out to the farms. I have collected over 100kgs of Strawberries from a local farm in Wamuran this season after they could not sell the smaller sizes to the supermarkets, this makes the best Jam and in turn helps out the farmers who already do it so tough. I love being so close to meet them in person and see/hear how the farm runs. Also, living in Brisbane is great if you love music, I can go to as many concerts without the travel costs!
Whats your favourite meal?
Roast pork belly
What are you currently reading?
I don’t do alot of reading, but I love doing crosswords to keep my brain active and mind occupied, I find its a great way for me to de-stress especially with a cup of Green Tea.
Rosanne can be found in person at the Nundah, Carseldine & Milton Markets regularly. On Facebook here, Instagram here on on her website here.
Thank you so much for sharing with us today Rosanne it was a delight to get to know you better.
If you'd like to read more of our Women Following their Dreams interviews how about checking out artist Brenda, author Kayte, graphic designer & photogrpher Kyla or just search "Women Following their Dreams" for the full series.
Are you following your dream?