Meet Kylee Newton, the entrepreneurial woman behind the London-based Newton & Pott brand, which specializes in all things preserves. From jams to chutneys, cordials to compotes, alcohol to pickles, Newton makes all of her products by hand in her home kitchen. The image of making preserves has been long been associated with a grandmother in the kitchen, but she is giving this artisanal craft a modern makeover and dispelling those stereotypes. It is evident upon meeting her, Newton is the modern preserver.
Originally hailing from New Zealand, Newton arrived to the U.K. fourteen years ago and has stayed since. Prior to starting her preserving business, she worked for ten years as an analogue printer with celebrated photographer Wolfgang Tillmans before he relocated his company to Berlin. She gained a highly regarded skill, but with no platform on which to practice it, she had to look for ways to reinvent herself. Newton then moved on, spending three years as a deejay, and then into the world of events and fashion styling. She also gained food and hospitality experience as a barista. But it was while working for a florist that she started preserving on the side and the “chutney stuck,” as Newton puts it.
“I have always made preserves for Christmas and people were so overwhelmed with this homemade gift. I wanted to share this sentiment with other people,” says Newton.
The motto behind her business stems from “waste not, want not,” whereby seasonal fruit and vegetables are preserved to prolong their lives. She follows this ethos, not allowing fruit and vegetables to go to waste.
“It’s about saving the season, making something last and keeping the longevity. It’s about making the best of a harvest and preserving it in the form of jams, chutneys and pickles,” says Newton.
On the day that I meet Newton, she is in the throes of making a batch of elderflower cordial. There is a pungent but sweet aroma of lemon and elderflower emanating from her kitchen. Not only does she create staple flavors utilizing local and ethically sourced produce, Newton also likes to experiment with unusual flavor combinations using exotic fruits like tamarillo and feijoa. “With London being such a foodie destination, people are open to new flavors and combinations,” says Newton. The Newton & Pott lineup keeps the interest of such food-lovers with items like Baked Peach & Vermouth jam, Gin Pickled Cucumbers, and Tomato Kasundi Chutney.
Because her products are made in small batches, you won’t find any preservatives or E numbers (a European Union code indicating food additives). Customers know they’re purchasing a locally made artisanal offering and supporting a small business within their community.
As part of her passion for preserving, Newton hopes to demonstrate how to give new life to foods that are about to turn. “I want to spread the word about saving the season,” she says. This education includes sharing new ways to enjoy her products, like chutney. “There is this association of chutney with just cheese, but you can eat it with breakfast, poached eggs––everything,” says Newton.
When fruits and vegetables are on the downturn, draw inspiration from Newton and have a go at preserving them. Because thanks to Kylee Newton and preservers like her, this ages old practice is a modern solution. Our grandmothers would be proud.
Visit Newton & Pott’s website for available stockists