This week we had a chat with Pob from Zest Byron Bay, co-creator (with wife Shelley) of the delicious marinades you find in our hampers.
Creating sumptuous international cuisine can be hard to achieve for your average cook but having a jar of Zest at your fingertips creates culinary excitement that will 'wow' guests.
Pob tells us about his time as a chef and how travel with his family brings inspiration to the Zest brand. We also find out how he and wife Shelley stay passionate about the business while maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
Tell us how long you’ve been creating delicious spice pastes and blends?
Zest has been up and running for probably 15 or 16 years but we only took over about 10 years ago. We rebranded and started creating the Curry Bases and haven’t looked back (too much; apart from the nostalgia of labelling on the couch in front of late night TV for some of our first ‘big’ city orders)
How do you come up with your blends and what sparked your passion?
Well I’ve (Pob) been a chef around the shire for nearly 20 years and I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing chefs around here. I also had the fortune to have been born into a foodie family. My mum always had a bent for whole foods and also gained a Cordon Bleu qualification in France back in the 70’s so my upbringing was slap bang in the middle of health and quality. I’ve travelled a lot and have always loved the complex spices of the near and far East. Also there is always something to learn about cooking from other countries and cultures and I’m continually fascinated at how curries have evolved through time and space.
"I’ve travelled a lot and have always loved the complex spices of the near and far East."
What have you learnt about your business along the way?
We’ve learned everything about (our) business along the way! We have had a few fabulous mentors and friends who have encouraged us along our path. I felt a great sense of relief when one such mentor announced, “ a good small business is a good small business”, which meant the striving for eternal growth didn’t have to be the main principle to follow. The direction of Zest has been alongside the growth of our son, which has enabled us to maintain a sense of balance.
"I felt a great sense of relief when one such mentor announced, “ a good small business is a good small business.”
How did you come up with the name and logo of your company?
This was already decided as we bought the business when it was a few years old.
What is your favourite blend?
My favourite blend is the Rendang, slow cooked using pork shoulder.
It’s unctuous, fragrant and so ridiculously moreish.
What’s new for your business over the next 12 months?
We have a NEW flavour hitting the shelves in a month or 2 after trials have succeeded in the “the lab”.
Where’s your favourite place in Byron Bay?
In the Byron shire, my favourite place is in the hills, in a creek, with family and a few friends.
Sum up your product in five words…
Deliciously Balanced, No-Rules Cooking.
Zest are featured in two of our new hampers; The Vegan hamper and The Diners Delight because we know how much our customers love local produce and healthy food ideas.