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Chat with Stuart McGruddy - My Berries Founder

12‐02‐15

We talk all things raspberries, with former chef and now co-founder and product creator at My Berries, Stuart McGruddy.

Stuart McGruddy My BerriesStuart took a shine to all things fresh, colourful and edible at a very early age: making pizzas at age six, three course evening meals at 12, and chocolates at 14.

Stuart pursued his passion for food and qualified as a chef at age 21, before achieving Executive Chef status by the age of 24. By that point he yearned for overseas experience and moved to the UK where he would undertake Executive Chef roles in well-renowned establishments in London and Ireland. Upon turning 30 and meeting his would-be wife Allison, Stuart returned to the family raspberry farm in South East Queensland in November 2012. Allison and Stuart have since launched 'My Berries', selling the finest fresh raspberries and original raspberry products at farmers markets and quality produce stores in the Brisbane area.

From Noosa, to Cork and London, then back to the Sunshine Coast. You must like raspberries! Tell us what has drawn you back to the family farm.

I lived abroad for seven years, driving my career forward and travelling loads. I found my wife and wanted to settle down and be closer to family. I’d spent enough time in busy cities and kitchens and the outdoors lifestyle was really appealing. And who doesn’t love raspberries?!

You've worked at some well known restaurants in your time overseas. Who have some of your most interesting customers been, and can you spill any dirt for us?

A certain Pirate of the Caribbean was staying at a London hotel with his famous model ex-wife. We thought that ordering off the fine dining menu for his dog three times a day was a tad bit crazy.


What do you see as a key food trend right now?

People being aware of small, local food producers whether it be a local cheese maker, baker, butcher or buying produce from farmers direct. It makes a big difference to local communities as it keeps skills, trades and methods passed down from one generation to the next.


Can you tell us something about raspberries that we might not know, surprising facts etc?

Prepare yourself. Some artificial raspberry flavouring (castoreum) comes from a beaver’s anal glands. I bet that’s bound to make you think about your decision to purchase your next raspberry flavoured fizz. A cup of fresh raspberries provides 50% on your daily intake of vitamin C. Fresh raspberries are extremely low in sugar, making it the perfect choice for diabetics and those watching their sugar intake.


How do you eat your raspberries?

By the handful. Nothing beats eating them straight from the cane. We always have a stash of raspberries in our freezer – they make the perfect addition to our granola and yoghurt, smoothies or on their own for a quick snack. They quickly ‘glam up’ any dessert.


You've created some fantastic products with your raspberries. What's your favourite?

Our raspberry vinegar. It might take months to brew but you can’t rush quality. It is so versatile – from dressing freshly shucked oysters to dressing salads and marinating meats. It also makes a mean addition to a soda-based cocktail – check out our website for a recipe. 

Its your last meal on Earth, where and what are you eating?

It really depends on what time of year you are talking about and what season it is. At the moment, it would be eating fresh seafood with a glass of Chardonnay down at the Mooloolaba spit with my family.


Do you have a life motto or piece of wisdom that you live by?

How you deal with failure is just as important as dealing with success. Remember that failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.

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