Skip to main content

Free Shipping For Individual Orders $150 | Same Day Delivery Available To Sydney Metro Areas

Behind the Jars of 'Franklin Road Preserves': A Conversation with Richard Dowling

Behind the Jars of 'Franklin Road Preserves': A Conversation with Richard Dowling

March 25, 2024 | Maker Stories

Angela recently travelled out to beautiful Orange to discover and meet with talented, resourceful, self-made producers. In this interview with Richard Dowling, she discusses the origins and inspirations of ‘Franklin Road Preserves’, renowned for delicious chutneys and preserves that give new life to abundant Central West produce.

‘Franklin Road Preserves’ marries Richard Dowling’s passion with experimenting and creating unique products in the kitchen with his inundation of homegrown produce. The result: an exclusive, delectable range of condiments to share with gourmet food-lovers around Australia.

Franklin Road Preserves
Franklin Road Preserves

Angela: Hi, today we’re here in Orange with Richard Dowling, and Richard has a fantastic brand called Franklin Road Preserves. I just had the most exquisite taste-testing experience with you didn’t I! I tasted about twelve of your products and I could not decide my favourite! Richard I’d love to know how you got into cooking and making these beautiful preserves?

Richard: Well, actually, it was right here in this backyard. We had a massive crop of zucchinis and cucumbers that we pickled since we couldn’t give them all away. And then someone suggested we take them to the farmer’s market. So I latched onto the end of a friends table there, and we started Franklin Road preserves!

A: Oh, fantastic.

R: And it’s just been building ever since. We still add the very occasional new product. Our latest addition to the collection is our Marinated Persian Figs, and they’re proving to be really popular.

A: They’re very, very good.

R: I am just always on the lookout for something a bit unique, a bit different, to hopefully make stuff that people enjoy.

A: So how did a farmer turn into a chef?

R: Oh, definitely not a chef! A farmer who reads recipes – is how I describe myself.


"Look, it's just something I enjoy doing,
and when we started doing more and more I thought I’d get sick of it and I haven’t.
I still enjoy it. I still enjoy being in the kitchen and cooking away."


A: And do you go to farmers’ markets and that sort of thing to sell your products?

R: These days I only do one, I used to do lots. I used to go to Canberra and Forbes and all around the place, but now I only do Orange. And we’re in the process of building an online business. Just because we have the farm which requires a lot of work, and just the time to do the cooking, and get to markets, and get home, and unpack – all of that. So, it’s much easier just to let people buy it online, and we can pack it and ship it.

A: Oh, that sounds good. And with the seasonal produce, where do you source that from?

R: Well 90% of it we grow ourselves, everything we can, we grow ourselves. Zucchinis, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant – they’re the main things. The spices are what we source from outside. A local tried to tell me to grow ginger, but I wasn’t going to go down that path.

A: That sounds great. And really, it’s just such a pleasure finding your beautiful products, tasting them and being able to put them in our Country Culture gift boxes. We have so much pleasure sourcing regional products and meeting the makers. How do you feel about being involved in a local gift box with products from your region?

R: Oh, we love it. It’s obviously good advertising and gets us into the market. Yeh, its great fun. Always pleased to be getting out there.

A: Well, it’s been a pleasure to meet you and thanks so much for your time.

R: You too, Ange.

Through the encouragement of friends, a passion for experimenting in the kitchen, and the supportive platform provided by farmers’ markets, ‘Franklin Road Preserves’ is emblematic of the Central West’s bountiful produce and rich farmland.

Stay tuned for more exciting stories and interviews on our blog as we continue to uncover the remarkable individuals behind unique and inspiring creations in the world of food and beyond.


Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up

Read also