Anathoth was founded in 1987 by a family who had purchased a rundown raspberry farm in Nelson. They named the farm Anathoth, an ancient biblical word meaning ‘hope’ and ‘new beginnings’.
At the local Saturday market all the raspberry jam, made with raspberries from the farm, sold out. The weeks that followed saw all the jam selling out too, bought by customers who were fast becoming regulars. Encouraged, the family garage was transformed into a kitchen and the Anathoth range began. The market responded warmly to the delicious, home-made flavours and Anathoth continued to gain popularity. The business was sold in the early 2000’s. Anathoth is now based in South Canterbury, having recently joined another family business, Barker’s of Geraldine.
“It’s a good fit with our own family business” says Michael Barker. Barker’s also prides itself in being a family owned, iconic South Island company, founded in 1969 by my Father Anthony Barker and now the country’s leading producer of premium jams, chutneys and blackcurrant juice syrups.
Anathoth’s success has been based on authentic home-made style recipes using New Zealand fruit and small-batch production and Barker’s will continue to make Anathoth jams and pickles in this traditional way. Barker’s is a long-time champion of the New Zealand grower, with a staunch, New Zealand fruit-first policy.
The philosophy behind Anathoth is all about using traditional country recipes and wholesome local produce – just like Grandma used to do. As there are no longer enough “Grandmas” to fill up our pantries with old fashioned country preserves, consumers look to brands like Anathoth to make their preserves in the same traditional way. Consumers sometimes ask me why it is that each pot of Anathoth Jam isn’t exactly the same thickness, and I am proud to explain that is because we add no pectin to thicken it and no additives - just fruit and sugar, boiled until it sets, this is the same recipe found in home cookery books and used by our Mothers and Grandmothers. With no additives, Anathoth jam really does taste just like homemade.
Barker’s has brought Anathoth back into the family business fold. We understand the importance of New Zealand roots and traditions. It might just be fruit and sugar but it’s Anathoth quality, history and heritage that we’re preserving as well as the fruit.”