Welcome to our Website
About Old Orchard PreservesA wonderful Granddad who imparted his preserve-cooking secrets, the destiny of living on the site of an old orchard and the ethos of using in-season, local produce that would otherwise be wasted – these are the things that inspired the formation of “Old Orchard Preserves” in April 2008.
It's Karen here, founder and owner of Old Orchard Preserves, I’d love to share with you some history and information about our product range, our spirit and culture.
Local Produce – Great Taste; this sums up what it meant to me back in 2008 and it sums up what it means to me now. Spending the day picking fruit and pulling vegetables from my own and other local gardens in the Cheshire village where I live, getting home to wash and prepare it, cooking it – without adding any pectin, preservatives or colours - and later the same day having a lovely jar of homemade preserve or a super bottle of homemade cordial which looks, smells and tastes fantastic! From crop to jar all in one day – from vision to reality – it simply and naturally doesn’t get any better than that!
“Waste Not, Want Not”; I have loved cooking since I was knee high and I had the best tutor in Granddad, who was a fabulous cook and believed in “waste not, want not”. So when I put an advert in the local “Village News” asking for excess fruit and vegetables from the gardens of local friends and neighbours, it was with a view to enhancing my hobby, using Granddad’s age old family recipes and maybe experimenting with a few new recipes of my own. I never expected the responses that advert had! These days those same friends and neighbours actually grow extra produce just for me to use! Of course, none of it is ever wasted!
Natural Ingredients and a Small Carbon Footprint; I never add anything other than natural good quality ingredients to my products (click here to see a list of ingredients per product) and I compost all my peelings and eggshells, these go back into the ground to start the growing process again. I never have to go far to pick my ingredients from gardens or farms and I sell to stockists and via farmers' markets that are easy to travel to and never far away, here in the North West of England.
Moving with the Seasons; this is of course a huge part of the Old Orchard Preserves ethos: Rhubarb starts our year off and as each month goes by, something new appears on my doorstep from enthusiastic friends! The seasonal produce ends when the last of the apples have been picked and the last of the pumpkins are ready to be used.
So of course our products are seasonal to a large extent – you wouldn’t expect our “Fruity Christmas Chutney” to be available at Easter or our Elderflower Cordial to be available out of its (short) season – around mid May to mid June!
Seasonality & Product Availability; to check when our individual end-products are usually made, take a look at our easy-to-view-table. Note, however that product availability will depend on both the abundance of crops and the popularity of the product in question. Of course if you have any queries at all about our products and their availability you can always Contact Us and we would be happy to advise you.
I should also note here that our Lemon Curd (which I am often told is the best one can buy!) is made to order; I use a traditional recipe with only 4 quality ingredients – and most importantly the Eggs are Free Range and come from
Poplars Free Range Egg Farm in my Cheshire village.
Selling Old Orchard Preserves - Where to Find Me; this has also changed and grown since 2008. I simply love and look forward to getting out to Farmers' Markets – they are a real thrill and there is a social side to them that I couldn’t have wished for when I started – especially when I meet so many enthusiastic men, women and children who also enjoy cooking preserves and ask for my advice! I now have regular customers who bring me recipes and their homemade products to taste. Of course Old Orchard Preserves has a “Try Before You Buy” policy! I always have plenty of “taster” jars with me at these events – I wouldn’t expect a customer to buy without trying first! A full list of the Farmers' Markets that I attend can be found on our “Where to Buy” page.
I am pleased to say there are now a number of Shops and Companies that carry our stock and a full list can be found on our 'stockists' page. This list also includes the famous Tatton Park in Cheshire who I am thrilled to say sell a range of our products under the Tatton Kitchen Garden label.
Of course we always welcome individual shoppers and there is no “lower limit” to the amount of Old Orchard Preserves that our growing band of families and individuals can buy. You are welcome to buy directly from us by visiting Old Orchard Preserves in Antrobus, Cheshire or of course at the Farmers' Markets. Contact Us to ensure your choice is “in season” and in stock as well as checking exactly our address and post code!
Personal Gifts; as well as our usual product range we are able to offer wedding favours and other personal gifts which individuals and small companies may be interested in. For more information on these, please go to our Personal Gifts page which will be regularly updated with news of this gift range.
In Summary, it’s a Natural Choice; why buy something that has been made by a machine that churns out 100’s of jars with a chemically induced flavour when you can choose to buy a natural product? Jam only needs fruit and sugar, Chutney only needs vegetables vinegar sugar and spices – it’s not rocket science!
What you do need is the freshest of ingredients, stick with the seasons and you’ll get the flavour and the goodness. Don’t settle for less – Local Food produces a Great Taste.