“Time-honoured traditions haven’t simply inspired our business, they are our business. Many of our preserving techniques and recipes are much as they have been for centuries with closely-guarded recipes for marinades and pickling passed down through the generations…
“This is Sandhurst Fine Foods. We welcome you to our family!”
The Lubrano family’s Italian heritage is an increasingly sought-after quality among consumers in modernised markets who continue to search for flavour, provenance and above all, quality. Owned and operated as a family business for over 22 years, producing Italian specialties for Australian tastes; let’s hear a little more about their story, in their own words…
Sandhurst Fine Foods owes much to generations of ancestors in regional Italy in which life revolved around working with the seasons to grow, select, harvest and preserve food. “One of my grandfathers was a fisherman, the other a farmer,” explains Sandhurst’s CEO, Mimmo Lubrano; who today heads up the family business alongside his brother Ray.
Their specialty is a Mediterranean style of condiments from Campania, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily, pioneered with modern preserving techniques by Mimmo’s father Vince; and is what they are known best for today. Sun-Dried & Semi-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, Eggplant, Artichokes are the mainstay but by no means the limit of their range. They have also taken obscure Mediterranean products like Dolmades, Lupini Beans, Artichokes, and Porcini Mushrooms and made them accessible to the Australian public.
The Sandhurst product range delivers convenience without compromising on quality. They offer products that can be used with ease, and which add value to salads, pizza and pasta and create flavours that you might find in restaurants and cafes. In fact, their biggest market is the cafe sector, which uses their products every day to serve busy lunchtime crowds or frequent diners across Australia and the world.
Italian ingredients clearly remain at the heart of this business, but today the wide range of products for both food service and retail markets reflects Australian food trends and tastes, with essential ingredients for global cuisines; including Mexican, Greek, Asian, Lebanese and South American. Creating innovative products from the beginning and sourcing the very best produce within Australia and around the world, have set the standard for Sandhurst that continues today. Mimmo can often be found in restaurant kitchens discovering innovations in convenience, flavour and value to bring to their customers.
Mimmo credits his parents with the passion and connectedness that still defines the Sandhurst business. “Our father, Vince, taught me to love what you do and to respect everyone – staff, competitors and yourself,” he says. “Our mother ensures that the flavour profiles are right. She will often spot-check Vince’s recipes and ensure that we haven’t missed out on adding a vital ingredient. She often checks the incoming produce for consistency, quality and presentation. The fresh eggplants are taken home for us to make parmigiana to assess the quality of the produce. She is the mother figure for everyone at Sandhurst!”
This is a family business built on fundamental principles and traditions. “Be true to who you are,” says Mimmo. “And for Italians, that means being true to your roots… and true to your ingredients. Quality and authenticity are everything.” It’s no coincidence, he says, that the family’s ongoing quest for the very best produce leads them to other families who share their values and passion for quality. Whether that’s the basil growers in Far North Queensland who have supplied Sandhurst for nearly twenty years; the seven brothers in Murcia, Spain who grow artichokes; or the fourth-generation Mutti family producing premium canned tomatoes, “behind every good product is a good family.”
Credit to Italianicious for some of the quotes above.