Raeward Fresh Queenstown has fresh stock arriving daily. We would like to offer a new service to our local clientele over this time of uncertainty. We will personally pick and pack the freshest produce, meat, bakery and dry goods for you. We also have a range of freshly prepared ready to cook meals our chefs make daily, talk to us about the options available.
Personalised Pick & Pack Service
• Collect 7 days a week. Monday-Sunday 8am-5pm • Order before 2pm for collection the next day
Personalised Pick & Pack + Delivery Service
• Deliveries will be Tuesdays and Fridays • To homes in the Wakatipu Basin, including Arrowtown • Order before 2pm for delivery the next day • Free delivery for orders over $150 or a $25 delivery fee for orders under this amount
Payment for groceries/delivery fee can be made via credit card over the phone or email
Inch Valley Preserves with Maria Barta & Jim Hinkley
Imagine living on a wee, well-established orchard budding with black currants, red currants, gooseberries, plums, quinces, crab apples and damson plums. Now, add a lovely historic home equipped with a commercial kitchen in which to create jams, jellies, mustards and even verjuice to your heart’s content. Put yourself in a perfect growing climate where the summers are hot and the winters are cold but dry, on land blessed with rich river loam soil, all situated just a few kilometres from the Otago coastline and your dream is complete. Such is the life of Inch Valley Preserves owners Maria Barta and her husband Jim Hinkley.
Like many Otago pioneers, Maria and Jim bring a substantial background of diverse education and experience to their food craft. Maria, for instance, studied design, tourism, marketing and various food sciences on her way to becoming an English teacher. She taught in and around Dunedin for some time before the commute made her rethink her life and creative possibilities. She and Jim decided to convert part of their home into a commercial kitchen and Inch Valley Preserves was born. Jim got to bring his love of cooking as well as a career of graphic design and marketing to the business. They love the collaborative community of Inch Valley where sharing pastured eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and artisanal skills is the normal way of life. From the start they realised that they were manufacturers first and foremost. However, now they also enjoy selling at the Oamaru and Palmerston Farmers markets.
Maria’s parents were from Vienna and fostered a diverse food culture with a mix of Hungarian, Austrian and Jewish cuisines. They emigrated and settled in the South Island, and Maria was fortunate to be raised where goulash and Wiener Schnitzel appeared frequently at meal times, and even the occasional Apfel Strudel. Her lunch box had salami and wurst and potato salad while her schoolmates had vegemite sammies. This diversity made its way deep into Maria’s psyche, as she now has over 30 jams, preserves, mustards, honeys, spreads and verjuice on her product list. And what’s really interesting is that each of her condiments has a unique twist, harkening back to that diverse culture of her origins. Inch Valley’s Quince and Rose Quiddany jelly, Pickled Shallots with Saffron or the Green Fig and Armagnac Preserve all share glimpses of other lands and times, reborn for New Zealanders today on the borders of Central Otago.
At Raeward Fresh we stock Maria’s Pickled Lemon Slices which she hand cuts perfectly thin, so that each piece is ready to lay on top of your very own herbed couscous or freshly grilled salmon. We also have Inch Valley’s Kiwi classic, Lemon Honey, as well as their South Pacific twist on the theme — the Lime and Passionfruit Honey (made with fresh pastured eggs from their Inch Valley neighbours). Rounding out the offerings at Raeward Fresh, we carry their Beetroot, Horseradish and Clyde Walnut relish. Each jar is a brilliant combination of local ingredients (except for the lemons, shallots and figs which come all the way from Blenheim:-) and which Maria and Jim concoct on a daily basis.
Maria and Jim might be living the dream, but running your own business, even in a lovely valley settlement that’s been around since the 1860s gold rush, is still hard work. There’s heaps of food prep to be done (mostly by Jim) and hundreds of labels to be placed on jars that the couple have carefully selected to match the gift-like nature of their products. There is not a lot of machinery in their kitchen either, which means most of what comes out of Inch Valley Preserves has been made by hand.
Maria carefully selects the places where Inch Valley Preserves are sold (predominately in the South Island), as she likes the intimate interactions with customers and purveyors, whether it’s at local farmers markets or over the phone with Angela. Accounting, which Maria finds tedious, is outsourced, but they work very hard on the things they love. I think it shows, whether it’s in the tasteful design of their packaging or Maria’s insistence on consistently making products of the highest quality with the best ingredients largely grown in her very own beautiful garden.
Maria and Jim have been in Inch Valley for 27 years. They love tending the garden that is their one acre property and they love the ongoing education of crafting artisanal foods. They appreciate being part of a supportive community and have been glad to share the goodness that surrounds them. PS: “Inch” is a Scottish term meaning an island in a river or a meadow flooded by a river — and, yes, it does!