J.B. Shackleton's Traditional Marmalades Jams, Jellies & Spreads are made to recipes handed down through our family for more than five generations. The business began in Yorkshire and then Glasgow in the late 1700s before moving to London. After emigrating to Australia in 1880, the original John Barstow Shackleton (JB) established his Melbourne confectionery business at 3 & 5 Elgin St, Carlton, and also at the famous Eastern Market – later the site of the former Southern Cross Hotel. We have thus now been in this business as a family for more than 200 years and for 130 years of that - in Australia.
One branch of our family actually came to Australia as early as 1803. In the 1960s our family moved to Europe. We bought and rebuilt - stone by stone!- a 400 year old fortified, ruined farm with an ancient vineyard with olive trees almost a thousand years old - on the tiny Mediterranean island of Gozo. We planted hundreds of fruit trees in formerly barren areas. Many of the recipes now made were developed during the 30 years we had our farm there. The preserves, which are still made today on the island, soon became very popular, as there was plenty of fruit available but not always modern storage facilities. Lachlan actually began his career as an Archaeologist before switching to Law and taking his Doctorate at Cambridge. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts Manufacture and Commerce in 1973. He also operates a Business Development Consultancy which helps Australian Companies find partners overseas and foreign companies set up here.
In 2000, Julia and Lachlan returned home to Australia. Working from our Yarra Valley farmhouse kitchen, we brought back the old family business. We use the same trademarks and logos and now produce those Marmalades, Jams, Jellies and Spreads and many other products again in the same traditional way our family has always used. For our marmalades, jams, spreads and jellies, we make only one small (5 kg) fruit batch at a time - by hand. All our ingredients are natural; our fruit is all Australian. Even our pectin, which is only used when needed, is a special type made from apples and citrus fruits. There are no artificial colours or thickeners. Because we use only fresh fruits, availability will depend on what is in season.
Below are some photographs illustrating some of our history:
(Click on the large images to view the original size)