In early 2020, Abbey Bridgman was busy doing what she loved most: making homemade preserves for her family in her small kitchen in Moutere, Tasman.
“One day I made some excess and put the extras up on Facebook,” explains Abbey. “They were snapped up within an hour! Then I started getting requests from people and every batch I made would sell out.”
Customers were loving the fresh relishes, jams and sauces that Abbey was creating from scratch, with homegrown or locally sourced produce, no preservatives and minimal added sugar. Soon, local shops were asking her for stock and before long Abbey’s products were available in a range of specialty stores from Invercargill all the way up to Nelson.
Wanting her loyal customers to be able to easily find and purchase her products, Abbey approached Raeward Fresh who happily agreed to stock her range in three of their stores. From there, New World Blenheim caught on.
As things ballooned, Abbey and her husband realised they needed more space. So, the pair upped their lives and moved south in early 2021. A lifestyle block in Oxford afforded them the opportunity to grow more of their own produce and have a second kitchen for the business, as well as be near their new granddaughter.
Despite the move and all that entails, demand and production haven’t slowed. Abbey is still turning out her full range of 15 products including fruit jams, cauliflower pickle, beetroot relish, apple jelly, chilli passion sauce, chilli jam and the ever-popular apple butter (an American inspired treat perfect on waffles!), supplying her specialty stores, selected Foodstuffs outlets, selling direct to locals and distributing orders through her website.