Preserving traditions

Cornersmith’s incredible pickles and preserves are now available at Darlo General! Here’s why we reckon it’s a match made in small-batch, sustainable heaven.

When contemplating a new business venture 10 years ago, Alex Elliott-Howery and husband James Grant knew they wanted to peruse something aligned with the ethos they lived by at home. “We believe strongly in reducing food waste, simple traditional food education and the importance of preserving in our modern kitchens,” says Alex, who combined her expertise in eating ethically with James’ knowledge of the food service industry to create Cornersmith.


A decade and a critically acclaimed café, pickle and preserve range, cooking school and series of best-selling cookbooks later, Cornersmith still places “small scale local growers and makers, delicious sustainable food, environmentally friendly business choices and community connection” front and centre. The business has transformed the humble pickle and a simple meal into something of pure joy – and Alex and James into leading voices in the sustainable food movement.


There are two important reasons why Cornersmith’s seasonal preserves are a go-to amongst thousands of picky pickle eaters: quality Aussie fruit and veg, and good ol’ fashioned know how. This range effortlessly combines traditional techniques with innovative twists, creating pickles that sing, relishes that bite, and chutneys, jams and marmalades dressed for opulence.


Previously, they’ve only been available at Cornersmith cafes and stores. But by popular demand (and lucky for us!) the team is now offering their much-loved range in “cafes, shops and business we admire,” says Alex. We can safely say the feeling is mutual!


It was a natural choice Darlo General and Cornersmith to combine powers, because we both believe that the best way to make sustainable change in our world is to eat with the seasons, connect with community and support local business.


“We feel that all businesses need to make the best possible decisions for their community and the environment, especially in the hospitality industry,” says Alex. “Food waste is a huge issue and as leaders in food education, we want to help people find manageable ways to reduce their environmental footprint.”


The future is bright for Cornersmith’s dynamic duo, with plans for “more education and more pickles! We hope, as soon as we can, to get back to teaching and grow our audience more and more, strengthening our sustainability message as we go. At the same time, we’re hoping to offer more delicious products, made with all-Australian ingredients.”


Alex is also in the middle of writing a brand new cookbook with a focus on stress-free food waste solutions – sure to become another bible for the kitchen conscious crowd and beyond.

“We started a very small business and it’s been crazy 10-year rollercoaster,” says this preserving pro. We can’t wait to see what Cornersmith does with the next 10!