Family traditions and a life long interest In Italy – her landscape, music, art, culture and cuisine – have translated into a mission to produce traditional family and Italian-inspired foods.
Growing up on a Wairarapa farm, the kitchen of Ali’s family home was the hub of the farm and the home, the place where family, friends, visitors and workers all gathered and shared food together. Meals were prepared from produce grown on the farm – meat, eggs from the free ranging hens, vegetables from the large garden, as well as plums, feijoas and lemons.
Morning and afternoon teas have always been symbols of country hospitality. On the farm, an array of freshly made treats along with iced cakes and biscuits from the twenty-plus regularly replenished cake tins, welcomed all visitors.
Ali learned how to cook by osmosis: by watching and helping, and, as she became more accomplished and confident, making the time-tested recipes handed down from generation to generation.
For Ali, food and friendship continue to be intertwined: preparing delicious food to share gives great satisfaction. Consequently, she made a career shift to include teaching food and nutrition as well as English.
A life long fascination with Italy has grown from singing Italian opera and song, and studying Italian art and architecture. Learning the language, and regular memorable trips - to Venice, Rome, Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Le Marche, the Cinque Terre – have intensified Ali’s passion for all things Italian, and lead to an understanding that her own upbringing is reflected in family-oriented and food-focused Italy.
Against this background, the devastating Christchurch earthquakes of 2011 that forced many to re-evaluate their lives, were also the catalyst for Ali to establish Ali’s Lemons. Her range of products draws on her experiences, and belief that food sustains not only the body and soul but is also a celebration of life and love.
At Ali’s Lemons, Ali combines the roles of cook, product developer, proprietor, marketing manager, distribution manager and bottle washer. She trusts that you will be delighted by her products and that they will give you as much joy as she gains producing them for you.