Growing up in Dudley, Kangaroo Island, I always loved cooking food that came straight from our backyard garden. Dad prided himself on his veggie patch and he and mum would always be outside working in the garden, on the farm or in the shed. As kids we would collect eggs from the chook house, help out on the farm and help other family in their veggie gardens.
But my favourite home cooking was with my grandparents who inspired Millie Mae’s: Evelyn Millicent (Millie) Willson (my Pop’s Mum) and Gladys May Willson (my Mum’s Mum). My Dad’s parents, Fen and Vern Trethewey also in Penneshaw were great gardeners, green tomato picklers and made a mean sandwich or two! We would spend days picking fruit, cleaning native cranberries, making chutneys and jams and learning how to preserve the ‘old fashioned way.’ And I’m very happy to say that I still do this with my Gran today.
I loved growing up on Kangaroo Island and even as a kid, I dreamed of having my own food business on KI like my great-grandma Myra who ran a Tea room and fruit and veg shop in Penneshaw. I wanted to create a place that captured the traditional, wholesome, family experience that I grew up with here. I wanted a place that showed off the wonderful produce that KI has to offer, as well as had the character of a loved home. I also wanted the opportunity to share our family’s Kangaroo Island story and celebrate the wonderful extraordinary people in my life.
This was how Millie Mae’s Pantry was born.
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