5 Local Yarra Valley Food Producers You Must Visit!
If you’re planning a trip to the beautiful Yarra Valley, then no doubt you’ve heard of the amazing award winning wines and cellar doors that call the area home. But the Yarra Valley is also home to some of Australia’s best artisan food producers. From rich creamy cheeses, freshly baked sourdoughs, to creative chutneys, and mouth-watering raviolis- it truly is a food lovers heaven.
Whether you’re stocking up on treats to take home, or packing a picnic basket while you explore the Yarra Valley, take some time to meet the locals who are passionate about creating some of the country’s best produce.
To help you plan you’re trip through the Yarra Valley, here are just a couple of our favourite local producers.
Habituel - Bakers and Coffee Roasters
If you’re like us and absolutely love the smell of fresh bread, sweet pastries, and buttery croissants than make sure to stop in at Habituel Bakery. Open 7 days just across town in Healesville, Habituel offers some of the regions yummiest lemon tarts, canelés, pastries, croissants, and muffins – which are all of course baked fresh daily and in-store.
While we could fill ourselves up on Habituel’s sweet pastries, it’s their sourdough bread that has become their signature offering. Habituel's sourdough is so special because of ‘Leroy’, the levain, or starter, which defines sourdough from other breads and from each other. Leroy produces a loaf with that distinctive sourdough tang, a crumb that is moist but keeps for longer, giving you a perfect excuse to take some bread home with you.
And if you need something to sip on while you enjoy your treats, then head upstairs where they roast their own coffee beans. They boast themselves on creating ‘strong and not decaffeinated’ coffee which has such a strong following; they now even offer a coffee subscription service.
Image Credit : Habituel Bakery
Jam Lady Jam
Once you’ve picked up your fresh loaf of bread, you’ll need to of course have something local to enjoy with it. That’s where Jam Lady Jam comes in. Not your regular ole supermarket jam, we promise that you once you try this locally made preservative and additive free jam you’ll understand why they have been supplying some of Melbourne’s best chefs, cafes and restaurants for over 20 years.
Only combining fresh locale and seasonal fruit and exotic spices, they offer some truly unique jams, marmalades and relishes including blackberry Shiraz, spiced Syrian fig, and bread & butter pickles. If you’re visiting around Christmas make sure to put an order in for their famous Christmas Puddings, which have been selling out every season for the last 10 years!
Yarra Valley Dairy
If you plan on stocking up some of the best local wines (check out our list of some of our favourite Yarra Valley Wineries) then of course you’re going to need some local cheese to enjoy with it. The Yarra Valley Dairy is known for their delicious, fresh artisan cheeses made from both cows and goats milk. Their most popular cheese is the Persian fetta, which is marinated in garlic, fresh thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns and olive oil, and is amazing crumbled over a caramelized onion tart or served with roasted vegetables.
For those looking at building a cheeseboard to impress, then make sure to try the Black Savourine - a semi-matured goats cheese. It’s perfect served with figs, roast plums, and with a glass of Pinot Noir.
The cheese shop is open 7 days and is located in the original 100-year-old milking shed on their farm and right beside the cheese factory.
Yarra Valley Pasta
Like so many good things in life, Yarra Valley Pasta started with a traditional family recipe that had been shared down from the Colaneri family’s Italian ancestors. Now operating for over 20 years, and still family owned, Yarra Valley Pasta is known for providing the Yarra Valley locals with the best award-winning fresh pasta.
All of the pasta is egg-based, made with locally sourced certified free-range eggs from nearby Kinross Farm in Kinglake. They also use local seasonal produce, including cheese from Yarra Valley Dairy, to make some truly delicious stuffed ravioli. Treat yourself to their gorgonzola, fig and prosciutto ravioli, or the crowd favourite smoked trout and goats cheese ravioli.
Their retail store in Healesville is open only Mon-Fri, but there pasta is stocked throughout the Yarra Valley and Melbourne.
Yarra Valley Farm Fresh
While technically not a locally producer themselves, we couldn’t leave out the one-stop shop for everything Yarra Valley – the Yarra Valley Farm Fresh. Boasting a wide range of locally made and grown produce including nuts, free-range eggs, flowers, handmade bread, cheese and biscuits, cakes and chocolates, cordials, savoury and sweet sauces, jams, honey and chutneys, condiments, olive oils and vinegars, salad dressings, and ice creams – it really is the place to come for everything Yarra Valley!
Since Farm Fresh owner Anita threw open the doors to her tractor shed for a handful of customers in December 2006, the shop has become a favourite for locals and Melbournites alike, becoming known for it’s fresh and seasonal produce as well as it’s friendly and old fashion customer service. It’s open 7 days from 9:30am-5:00pm.