An adventure, a vision, and a great team.
We are Monica & Eric Robinson, owners and operators of The Other Chef Fine Foods. We are Mum & Dad to two energetic boys; husband & wife to each other; and partners in a business that has grown from a love of good food and a vision to create natural, quality products from fresh, locally grown ingredients.
Just after we were married, and before having kids, we had the opportunity to pack up our few possessions at the time, and travel around Australia. It was 2003 – Eric had been a Chef for 18 years and I had spent the previous decade working in the Australian wine industry.
We gravitated naturally to regions known for their food & wine, discovering some delightful artisan food brands and admiring the connection the makers had to the farmers who grew the ingredients.
When we settled back on the East Coast – choosing Port Macquarie on the beautiful mid-north coast of NSW as a new home, we assumed we would return to what we knew best – the restaurant & wine industries. However, juggling those careers with starting a family isn’t easy, so it wasn’t long before the ideas from our travels and the array of fresh produce grown in our surrounding hinterland, sparked an idea.
It all started on a 1970’s electric stove in the granny-flat kitchen. Armed with a 10 litre pot and a bucket of strawberries from a local farm, Eric spent the day making jam. A week later, we took a stall at the local farmers market, and sold all 20 jars of that jam.
While continuing to work hard to support our young family – Eric worked as a Chef in a new restaurant, as well as teaching Commercial Cookery at TAFE – we made more jam and it kept selling at the market.
When the strawberry jam won a medal at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Awards, the story caught the attention of the strawberry grower, Anthony Sarks of Ricardoes Tomatoes. Within a short time, The Other Chef Fine Foods were making jam for Ricardoes, and today their range has grown to over 20 unique products.
This partnership, and those we have since built with other local farmers are central to the quality of the ingredients we source, as well as the products we make.
Boxes of stock had begun to take over our small family home, and it was obvious the venture was getting to big to remain home-based. Finally, the business reached a point where Eric was able to stop working nights in restaurants, and focus on growing the business.
Today, we operate from a modern production facility in Port Macquarie, where we work closely with our clients to plan and hand-craft award-winning products. Contract manufacturing and white label services have become the focus of our family owned & operated business.
Eric and I personally ensure the same care goes into every product we make and with over 10 years experience, we are able to support our customers from product concept, through to manufacture, compliance and distribution.
We look forward to being of service to you personally.