Beauty in the small things

Image: Little Tin Co

Some exciting product news for those in South Australia this week – with husband and wife founders, Dan and Rachel Weeks, launching the Little Tin Co, Australia’s ‘first craft cannery.’

In 2020, Dan and Rachel had found themselves isolated on Deer Island in Tasmania during Covid. The couple had signed up as volunteer caretakers four years prior, and so they were glad to have taken three months’ worth of supplies with them – including many cans of tinned fish. “It was during this time that we questioned why tinned fish had to be mass produced, from sources unknown and shipped across the world, when we have an abundance of quality, traceable and sustainably produced seafood in Australia,” they said.

Thus Little Tin Co was born. The company works with local sustainable fishers to source its seafood, and then teams up with chefs, food lovers and food scientists to work on its recipes. At the moment, the company’s product lineup includes Port Lincoln Sardines in Australian Oil; Smokey Port Lincoln Mussels in Cape Jaffa Whisky; and Hot Smoked Kingfish and Vermouth Pâté, but there will be more products released too. According to Dan Weeks, “We’ll be continuing to source under-utilised species and pairing them with quintessential Australian ingredients to create our products. The species also have to be abundant—otherwise, we won’t touch them.”

The company operates a small batch cannery in its base of South Australia. The tins are canned, sealed and packed by hand, “ensuring every piece is placed with precision and care,” according to Little Tin Co’s website. From there, they go into a retort where they are sterilised to ensure they remain shelf-stable. All the products are marked with a best before date, which is three years from the date of manufacture.

It’s great to see a company taking canning literally into their own hands, as well as sourcing locally and sustainably. The tins look great and give off a Mediterranean flair, with fun illustrations on the outer packaging from local artist, Ingrid Mangan.

If you’re a small canning company and would like to be featured, do get in touch!

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