Our Roots

It all started in 1987 on the Anathoth Farm in Nelson where raspberries were grown in abundance and raspberry jam was made in simple pots and sold at the local weekend market. The locals loved the big, bold, real fruit flavours and kept coming back for more. Encouraged, the family garage was transformed into a kitchen and Anathoth began.

New Beginnings

Anathoth Farm has a simple story. When you relay it, people start to see and understand us, our origins and our values on a new level. Anathoth means ‘answered prayer’ or ‘new beginnings’.

The original owner found himself in a predicament. He had a run-down raspberry farm and his options seemed to be drying up. He had an idea. He realised he needed to turn the fruit into money, thereby making jam seemed perfect. Bravely he forged ahead making delicious jam by the traditional and universal recipe which was simply half fruit and sugar. It was that simplistic approach which makes the best tasting jam.

He decided to sell the jam at the local flea market and quickly found success. That early success quickly led to demand in supermarkets which led to Anathoth raspberry jam becoming the best selling jam in NZ. And so….Anathoth became his answered prayer.

From one family to another

Back in 1987 Owen and Kaye Pope had a vision. In 2003 their vision had become a success and Anathoth attracted a business consortium who bought the business and held it for four years. This group then offered the business to Barker’s and in 2007 the Barker family brought Owen and Kaye Pope’s much-loved business back to another South Island family to nurture and grow. 

We continue Owen and Kaye’s vision of bringing quality, home-made preserves to households on both sides of the Tasman and continue the passion of making traditional country preserves with all the goodness of quality, whole fruit.

Michael Barker

Generations of Jam makers

We’re proud that several of our staff are second and third generation employees and the atmosphere at Anathoth is definitely one of ‘family’. It’s one of the hallmarks of a traditional family business – a solid grounding in the local community, keeping in touch and working with your friends and neighbours. We enjoy spending time together and taking advantage of our beautiful country surrounds. From time to time we enjoy the competitive spirit a social team event creates!

Our people are proud of what they do and they realise they’re a part of something special, making products which are respected throughout New Zealand and Australia – and beyond. We get a huge kick out of the positive feedback we get for a job well done – please keep that feedback coming!

Plastic tubs with an unpronounceable name

Many people have wondered how a brand with such a unique name on a plastic tub can be so successful. It seems that from the beginning, people were drawn to the original Anathoth tub and it’s clear that once they tasted the mouth-watering jam inside, they were hooked! Perhaps it’s also because it takes us back to earlier times when life was simple. Anathoth treasures this simplicity. Our jam is still made using simple recipes, genuine and unspoiled. And how DO you pronounce Anathoth? We say ‘Ana-tot’ with silent h’s but we don’t mind how you say it. It tastes great and that’s the main thing.

A new name and a tribute to the original farm

We’ve updated our name to Anathoth Farm as a tribute to the original Anathoth Farm in Nelson and to acknowledge the heritage of the brand that started some 27 years ago. We’re proud to continue the Anathoth tradition of simple, honest jam made from real whole fruit.

Now made on a corner of the original Barker family farm, the picture on the foil lid is indeed the view of the mountain range behind us – the heart of the South Island countryside. We are 8km from the nearest small town! Today, more than ever, people want to get closer to the origins of their food and there is a desire for the days when we knew the people who produced and sold the food we ate.

We like to follow traditional recipes and are up front about where our ingredients come from. Anathoth Farm is still made in the South Island of New Zealand and it’s still in good, honest hands.