Being a little broke isn’t always a bad thing – sometimes it leads to great ideas like giving preserves as Christmas presents, which in turn snowballs into a very cool saucy business. So was the case for Rebecca Harris, proud creator of Sawtooth Kitchen.
After returning from a stint in Australia in 2013, Becks received so many compliments on her BBQ sauce presents that she figured it might just be ‘good enough to sell.’ Now stocked in over five different Christchurch retail outlets, it’s easy to see that early prediction has been well and truly proven. Starting off at the Lyttelton Farmers Market, Sawtooth Kitchen soon outgrew its modest beginnings, and as demand got louder, the kitchen mastermind decided to make the move to stocking shops.
With both parents keen cooks, and a Nana that preserved a lot, Becks was well set up to take on the food realm, and admits she has come a long way from the early days where recipes were followed to the letter. Now confident enough to ‘colour outside the lines’ she can simply lock eyes with a vegetable and know what kind of measurements and ingredients are needed to turn it into a delicious condiment.
With an overall ethos to reduce food waste, eat seasonal and local, and encourage others to do so too, Sawtooth Kitchen offers a contemporary twist on an age old wisdom. Preserving has the double thumbs up from seasonal fruit lovers too, as summer harvest can be stored in a jar and enjoyed again in the middle of winter, and vice versa.
A solo job at the moment, the condiment queen has plenty of support from big-hearted friends and a Dad who moonlights as her signwriter and label maker. Not surprising when she admits that ‘making strangers into friends is much easier when you offer them something to eat.’
Words by Rosie Morrison & Images by Naomi Haussmann