Meet the Maker: Lea John Priest and Pamela Diane Olsen, From Sticky Balsamic.
Team Buy Aussie Now
This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members.
Sticky Balsamic is a family-owned regional Victorian business that started about six years ago as an idea by Lea, (a chef in a previous life).
Sticky Balsamic handcraft twelve delicious varieties of gourmet balsamic glaze – Sticky Balsamic Apple, Lemon, Orange, Original, Pear, White and Sticky Balsamic Premium Fig, Pomegranate, Quince, Raspberry, Reserve and Truffle. Starting from very small, humble beginnings – the five varieties they initially created were crafted in a hired commercial kitchen. They would sit in the lounge room at home labeling and boxing bottles all night and couldn’t see the floor for boxes!
The Sticky balsamic team did a happy dance the night after their first event as people loved the products – it was a gloriously sunny day at the stunning Lorne Easter Market in Victoria. The customer response was so great there, and their customers’ ongoing support has been incredible resulting in the business growing from five to twelve varieties. They now also hand-craft the delicious varieties in our custom-fitted facility and sell to specialist retailers across the country (and also internationally!). Still focusing on being personally involved with local farmers’ markets and other events so that they can speak face to face to receive direct feedback from those who purchase Sticky Balsamic (pre-COVID19).
How did you start your homegrown business?
Several years ago, Lea was considering what he wanted to do and my fateful last words were... “why not try Sticky Balsamic” - he had already created one of the varieties when working at his regional café/restaurant and knew people loved the dish it was specifically made for.
What inspires you?
Our family inspires us to do what we do. We want our kids to see that if you have a business idea, you can make it successful with hard work, the right team and great communication. Sticky Balsamic’s products are inspired by wanting to help the everyday cook feel like a chef and this is achieved by creating gourmet products which are easily able to be used at home, to make food taste even better. The incredibly high quality of Australian ingredients available, result in a delicious, pure product, which is reflected in our label and how we operate. The company’s ethics are simple and centred around honesty, trust and respect and we also live our lives by this.
What are the benefits of manufacturing locally?
The benefits of manufacturing locally in a regional area is that we are able to ensure quality control is of the highest standard. By employing people locally, we also contribute to the local economy which makes the region and country stronger.
What makes the Australian consumer unique?
The Australian customer is quite discerning when it comes to gourmet condiments. They want to trust that you do what you claim to do. They can be quite adventurous with their food and are extremely supportive of small businesses which we truly appreciate.
What is the best business advice you have ever received?
“Don’t worry about things you can’t control” - these can be very difficult words to live by, but it is an incredibly relevant statement so often, especially right now with COVID19.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business?
Keeping on going. It’s challenging doing the same thing day after day but if you want to succeed, you keep pushing through and finding creative ways of achieving your goals.
What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic?
The support that the Australian customer has shown to Australian businesses has truly been the positive take away from COVID19. Our online sales skyrocketed when COVID19 first started in the country, and we truly appreciate the Australian public’s support of our family business.
Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry?
Does anyone really keep it in the fridge?
Favourite Australian film quote?
“Just keep swimming...” Finding Nemo
Check out Sticky Balsamic for delicious handcrafted balsamic vinegar varieties.