Last of my Christmas shopping, local stores for pickles, jam and bread!


A great local Marrickville cafe is the “Cornersmith’, 314 Illawarra Road. They have now opened a ‘Picklery’ further up the road at 441 Illawarra Road. I wanted to mention the store on my blog as a great new initiative, and support them by buying pickles for my father in law for his christmas present, his favorite pickles! The store ‘Cornersmith Picklery’ runs workshops through out the year on preserving jams and bottled fruits, gluten free baking, bread making, cheese making, and all those old fashioned skills that are reemerging in the hand made scene, or slow food revolution!

“The old butcher shop came up for lease, so we just had to take it,” says Cornersmith co-owner Alex Elliott-Howery of the newly opened Cornersmith Picklery. The refurbishment has been four months in the making, located a few blocks down Illawarra Road from its eponymous cafe.

“We’re trying to encourage people to make stuff at home and get them out of supermarkets,” says Elliott-Howery of the hybrid space, which encompasses a cooking school and grocery store in one. “We’ll be stocking locally sourced produce from Cornersmith suppliers. Anything that’s specialty down there, you’ll be able to get here too.” That includes eggs, pantry supplies and their own house-made preserves.

Fitted out with an open commercial kitchen, the Picklery will be a hub for Cornersmith’s food prep and preserving, plus home food craft classes. Classes will focus on teaching students to make their own goods from scratch – like ricotta, yoghurt and labneh in the cheese-making class, or focaccia and sourdough in the session on bread-making – alongside a basic skills series. Next week, a spring preserving workshop will christen the space and transform this season’s harvest into chutney and pickles.

“The classes are themed around skills to give people more confidence for basic home cooking,” says Elliott-Howery.

Just as Cornersmith welcomed donations of locals’ home-grown produce for in-house pickling at the cafe, the Picklery will also encourage guests to use excess food from their own garden to create long-lasting preserves. “We want people to come to a class that’s appropriate for them. If you have a grapefruit tree, come and make marmalade. If you have lemons, come to a preserving class,” Elliott-Howery says.” 

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Then there is the great institution, Burke Street Bakery. Just what’s needed for Christmas , some Burke Street Bakery bread for my road trip to Bathurst.


A bakery renowned for delicious breads, cakes and pastries, which started its first store in Surry Hills, Burke Street, hence the name. The local Marrickville bakery is 2 Mitchell Street, Marrickville (off Victoria Street).  My favourite is the soy & linseed sourdough and the potato rosemary sourdough, and the delicious Ginger Brulee Tart for a treat. The bakery also runs baking classes, as well as starting a great new initative, ‘The Bread & Butter Project’, that I found out about at the 2013 Food & Words Writers Festival, held at the Historic Houses trust on the 19th of October.

“Created by Bourke Street Bakery, The Bread & Butter Project is an artisan bakery delivering handmade bread to Sydney’s fine food purveyors. Our traditionally crafted loaves made from the highest quality ingredients are the perfect combination of flavour, crust and crumb. As a social enterprise, 100% of our profits are reinvested into baker training and employment pathways for communities in need.”


The Marrickville Burke Street Bakery also has a new kooky little garden on the pavement

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and there is an even kookier street garden up the road. Great to see sunflowers and corn growing in the streets.