In the Beginning ....
What started out as a small line of gourmet specialty condiments, some very, very home made labels, a market and a bit of fun, fast became an instant hit, leaving us both a little gob smacked.
"I think we might be onto something here Tommo!?" I whispered out of the corner of my mouth.....
Hi my name is Warrick but my friends call me Wozz. I with my wife Ashley (Tommo) started Wozz! Kitchen Creations in Australia's Hunter Valley wine region, December 2010.
I had been bouncing around the globe working on private yachts and cooking for the palettes of the wealthy and sometimes famous. I sailed and worked as a private chef for 7 years all over the world on a dozen different luxury yachts. My adventures took me to sail the Atlantic four times and cover passages from the Southern Ocean and Australia's East coast to the Philippines, the Maldives in the Indian ocean via Egypt's Seuz canal and the Red Sea. I sailed through all of Europe, Turkey and the Eastern States and across the Atlantic to the Windward Islands of the Caribbean, USA, Cuba and South America. I had the pleasure of cooking for the likes of Prince Albert of Monaco, and Charlene Lynette Wittstock, now Princess Charlene. Rupert Murdoch and his family, various Lords, Lady's & dignitaries of the UK, Spain & Mexico right down to the likes of Ferrari's Formula 1 driver, Felipe Massa and our very own Elle McPhearson. I loved the adventure and the constant moving, but it was sailing,
I just loved to cook and sail.
It was on one particular adventure en-route to Cuba that I met Ashley in Key West Florida where we began a whirl wind romance, worlds apart. After six months separated (me in Turkey and her New England USA), we quit both our lives to rendezvous in the south of France. We lived aboard yachts in Italy, France and finally took a season off to winter in Spain's Balearic Islands, Palma d'Mallorca.
We got itchy feet before too long and decided it was time to stop eating tapas, drinking Rioja and playing this game of global hopscotch. So with a more permanent commitment in mind we emptied our apartment forwarding on all our worldly possessions, giving what was left away to friends and caught a plane to Ashley's homeland of New Hampshire USA.
Here we started the process of immigration paperwork, boxed up what we had left, said our family goodbyes and jumped back onto a plane, this time to my birthplace...Australia. You would think we had lightened the load of luggage by this stage but believe us we had not! It was all very emotional and really quite the bother.
With a brief stop over in Paris for a surprise engagement and far too much rich food and Burgundy, we crash landed in Newcastle Australia. For me the second time in a decade since working abroad and for Ashley, it was to be her first time ever. I tell you what, you want a culture shock, move from Spain to Australia! We were stuck, waiting and wondering what to do next as we sifted through the nightmare that was to become Australian bureaucracy and sharing a house with my parents. Our boutique wedding came and went in all its Wollombi boutique glory, made perfect by Capers Guest House.
Despite the appearance of us finally becoming settled, life still hung in the balance. Our staying in Australia all depended on whether Ashley would be licensed (Ashley being an RN with a passion for ER and starting her career from scratch was not an option) The dreaded reality that we may very well need to turn around and head back to the USA was not a reality I wished to entertain, not yet anyway. What we needed in the mean time was something to occupy the both of us, rather than me heading off to work and leaving Ashley twiddling her thumbs. We started to add meat to the bones of an idea, began years ago by myself in San Francisco. The idea was simple really, find a way to bring my tried and tested yachting recipes, ideas and and short cuts to those extraordinary and creative home cooks that humbly refer to themselves as everyday. As the idea and look developed it began to incorporate so many of the adventures and flavors we had experienced together abroad.
Enter Wozz! Kitchen Creations. A growing line of gourmet gastronomy and very much a reflection of who we are!!
In those early days, our product line grew from five to thirty in a matter of months. Made up of multi purpose sauces, unique spice blends, salts, jelly, dukkah, dressings, relish and condiments. All handcrafted by us with individual palates and creativity in mind, each of our products has a story behind it, a conception in place and time. All telling a part of the story and our journey. Some products like our North African Chermoula were born in places such as the dusty frontier town of Broome, North Western Australia, our Moroccan Tomato Onion Relish was born in Greece aboard the world's first luxury yacht Christina O' and our award winning Ginger Soy Infusion Dressing was part of a Japanese Banquet for the Prince of Monaco and his guests.
Through farmers markets and events throughout Sydney, Newcastle and NSW Australia we found a growing number of loyal customers, all excited about our range of interesting pairings that encouraged and sparked their creativity in the kitchen. We felt we had created something special and after 2 years of success and a portfolio of memories, we packed our bags and headed to Ashley's homeland of NH, USA in hopes of settling in the USA and restarting the business in New England.
In January of 2013, Wozz! Kitchen Creations was born in Bethlehem NH and Hardwick VT, USA. We found a commercial facility that was well suited for our operations in Vermont and we bought our first home in NH. We continue to make everything ourselves from scratch and by hand from farm fresh real ingredients. We believe in crafting true artisan gourmet foods, right down to twisting the cap and hand sticking the labels, using no preservatives, artificial colors or additives, simply none of that gunk. We strive to make the highest quality specialty foods that get your creativity freight training...we want you to be surprised, engaged and excited when you try our products.
We hope you will continue this adventure with us. We have a lot of exploring and growth to achieve in the US and hope we may meet you along the way. Thanks for reading and if you want to contact us please do! We would love to hear from you.
ciao, tschüss, doeiWozz, Ashley & Henry xx