The Story so far
Launched in 2014, Clare’s Preserves is a true artisan producer of multi award winning marmalades, jams, jellies, chutneys and relishes. Based in the foothills of Dartmoor, all products are handmade by Clare in small batches, using traditional open pot methods.
How it all began:
Clare’s early career was steeped in saltwater adventures, working on vessels large and small, from a rescue launch in Mallorca to flight engineer on the cross channel hovercraft. In 2013 Clare decided to leave the maritime world behind her and turn a passion for cooking into a career – she enrolled at the award winning Ashburton Chef’s Academy, graduating six months later with a professional culinary diploma (with distinction). She then started producing a few varieties of seasonal preserves as a treat for friends and family. The feedback was so overwhelmingly positive that, combined with winning a Silver award for her Pink Grapefruit Marmalade in the World’s Original Marmalade Awards (home category) in 2014, Clare was inspired to create Clare’s Preserves.
A dedication to quality and provenance:
Quality and provenance are the driving forces behind all aspects of the business, from ingredients through to the packaging used. Clare knows the best ingredients make amazing preserves and ensures they are carefully sourced, using local producers wherever possible: honey from Dartmoor beekeepers, Peter and Adam; gin from Exmoor’s small batch distillery Wicked Wolf, Cider vinegar from Ostlers Cider Mill, Barnstable. Fresh seasonal produce, such as rhubarb, damsons and soft fruits come from local growers, often being picked to order and delivered the next morning – by the afternoon it’s in a jar. The citrus fruits used in our marmalades have to come from further afield, but we work with a local supplier to source the best organic fruit and are very proud to use ‘Ave Maria’ oranges in our award winning Seville marmalades. Labels and packaging come from companies in Devon & Somerset and we insist on using UK manufactured glass jars!
Success so far:
Our preserves have been wowing food industry judges from around the country in the last couple of years and we have won a range of coveted awards: two stars from the Great Taste Awards 2015, known as the Oscars in the food world, for Sweet Pickled Cucumbers and Clementine Marmalade, with 1 star for Mulled Cranberry Extra Jelly and Smoky Tomato Relish, as well as the Pink Grapefruit Marmalade.
Then Mulled Cranberry Extra Jelly scooped the top PLATINUM award at the Food & Drink Devon awards , with SILVER for the Luxury Christmas Mincemeat.
2016 so far has been a record year for us: at this year’s World’s Original Marmalade Awards every product entered earned a medal – GOLDS for Lemon, Dartmoor Honey & Ginger Marmalade, Pink Exmoor Gin Marmalade and Seville Orange and Dartmoor Honey Marmalade. SILVER medals were awarded for Pink Grapefruit Marmalade, Seville Marmalade and Clementine Marmalade. As a result of these awards, sponsors Fortnum & Mason selected the Lemon, Dartmoor Honey & Ginger Marmalade to be sold at their prestigious flagship London store – a fantastic outcome for us as they became our first stockest outside Devon!
Our most recent successes have been at the Taste of the West Awards 2016: GOLDS for Lemon, Dartmoor Honey & Ginger Marmalade, Pink Exmoor Gin Marmalade and Smoky Tomato Relish and SILVER for the Beetroot & Orange Chutney.
Read my ‘Graduate Story‘ on the Ashburton Cookery School website.