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Meet the syrup makers celebrating Australian botanicals

November 24, 2021
June 25, 2021
Food is a great unifier. It brings people together, to celebrate, commiserate, and connect. For Nathalie Gits and Marie Liang, it was a shared love of cooking – particularly recipes from their homeland of France – that planted the seed for Violet & Gold. And a quince.

“Marie offered me a few quinces in April last year,” Nathalie says. “To cook them, I made a syrup using a few spices I had in my kitchen, and included some Tasmanian pepperberries.”

The result? Delicious.

That’s when the idea for Violet & Gold was born: using Australian botanicals, like lemon myrtle, strawberry gum and wattleseed, to create syrup mixers. Think of them as super-fancy cordials to use in cocktails and mocktails, and – if you’re feeling adventurous – your cooking.

“When Nathalie suggested it, I thought ‘What a great idea!’,” Marie recalls. “It’s such a good way to celebrate ingredients native to this beautiful country, in a way that feels true to us as well.”

Nathalie, who learned about plants while studying horticulture at TAFE, started growing Australian botanicals in her backyard and experimenting with them in her cooking. Marie has a background as a cook, and together they started testing various ingredients in their kitchens, combining their shared love of food with plants.

After a few months of trying out their recipes on family and friends (Marie’s young children are her harshest critics), they hit on the right combination of flavours. Violet & Gold officially launched in November 2020.

Violet & Gold are members of the Australian Native Food & Botanicals (ANFAB), the peak national body representing all interests in the Australian native food sector. ANFAB, a not-for-profit organisation, promote the nutritional and functional benefits of native foods with industry, federal and state governments while working alongside Indigenous communities and organisations.  

The ingredients used in Violet & Gold’s syrups are 100% Australian grown. Their Tasmanian pepperberries come from a farmer in South Australia. Their lemon myrtle is sourced from a backyard grower just five kilometres from where the syrups are made. The rest of their botanicals come from a supplier in New South Wales, who works with Indigenous and non-Indigenous wild harvesters.

This idea of being conscious consumers carries throughout Nathalie and Marie’s business. Along with sourcing all of their ingredients locally, they use recycled, recyclable and compostable packaging, and offset their carbon emissions through Carbon Positive Australia. They invest their super in ethical super funds, and they’re proud Bank Australia customers.

“Bank Australia aren’t striving to be this old version of banking,” Marie says. “They are living its values, and we aspire to do the same.”

Nathalie and Marie have made a commitment to sustainability and the environment, so the choice to move their money into clean banking was a straightforward one.

“Our money gives us this small power,” Marie explains. “And if more people take this power and act – whether that’s where they put their money or where they invest their super – I believe it would make a real change.”

Find out more about Violet & Gold – or order yourself a bottle or two – here.

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