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Urban Forager [Supplier Spotlight]

April 10, 2024 Honest to Goodness

There’s nothing more we love than discovering a business with the same humble beginnings as Honest to Goodness, which has carved out an incredible name for themselves in the organics space in Australia.


With a strong focus on organic ingredients, 12 years ago, Lou Corteen launched a small homemade business, Urban Forager, making preserves from unwanted produce in people’s backyards. Fast forward to today and this former small, home-based business is now a leading producer of certified organic stock concentrates in Australia. Here’s their story:


Urban Forager was born 12 years ago in an answer to the question: What shall I be when I grow up?

“Having worked as a research biologist and a teacher, and doing the admin for my partner while our children were small, I was wondering what to do next,” says Lou. “When my partner’s staff member sent a message saying I should sell my preserves, I thought “OK”.

The business started out collecting people’s unwanted backyard produce and turning it into beautiful preserves like lemon curd, passionfruit curd, jams, and chutneys. The name Urban Forager sprang from the notion of foraging in people’s gardens for figs, lemons and plums.

“Of course, I needed to buy other ingredients, and always purchased organic, so I added a few purely organic lines using ‘seconds’ from the wholesale market,” explains Lou.

“These proved very popular and before too long I was supplying organic stores across Perth. At the same time, I was developing a shelf stable version of the vegetable stock I’d made for years. Having a background in biology helped, and I worked with a professor of food science to ensure it was safe.”


The vegetable stock concentrate grew to become Urban Forager’s best-selling and most profitable product, but the amount of time spent driving around collecting a few kgs of excess produce here and there, and the enormous range of products produced, meant the business was popular but not profitable.

“I knew there was a market for meat stock concentrates and that I would have to make a hard decision and let the other product lines go while I worked hard on the stock concentrates (& spend time with family).”

Two rebrands and lots of hard work in small spaces later, the business moved into a custom-made kitchen in 2021 with lots of space to grow.

“We have an incredible team of staff, suppliers and customers and I feel very, very lucky,” says Lou.


What sets Urban Forager apart from conventional stocks on the market is their commitment to real, wholesome ingredients. While many stock cubes, powders, and bouillons contain minimal amounts of actual meat or vegetables, Urban Forager's products boast a high percentage of organic, free-range chicken and beef, as well as locally sourced organic vegetables, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, herbs, and spices. The chicken stock contains 20% free range organic chicken; the beef stock contains 20% free range, grass fed, organic beef. The rest is organic vegetables, local organic olive oil, local organic apple cider vinegar, spices, herbs and salt. They use lake salt from Lake Deborah in the southwest, mined by a family business that has been operating for over 100 years and just 5km from the Urban Forager kitchen.

Manufactured in the Fremantle district of Western Australia, Urban Forager is dedicated to providing healthier, more sustainable alternatives to conventional stocks. Lou shares: "Our stock concentrates make cooking tasty dishes for yourself, family, and friends so much easier. Knowing it's a really healthy option makes that delicious flavour hit even better."

In addition to their commitment to quality ingredients, Urban Forager's concentrates offer excellent value for money compared to liquid stocks, are plastic-free, and have a shelf life of up to one year. By choosing Urban Forager, you are choosing a versatile, eco-friendly, and health-conscious cooking experience.

We're thrilled to welcome Urban Forager to the Honest to Goodness family, where we share a passion for organic whole foods that make a positive impact on people's health and the environment. Discover the range of Urban Forager stock concentrates today and elevate your culinary creations with the goodness of real, organic stock ingredients.


Urban Forager stocks’ concentrated format means you can use them in a variety of ways:

  • Mix into a liquid stock by dissolving in cold water (hot water is not required). You can make as little or as much as you need, so there’s no waste either!
  • Add to soups, stews and curries that call for liquid stock
  • Add it to Bolognese and taco mix for a taste boost
  • Add a flavour punch to steak marinades or beef burgers
  • Use in vegetarian dishes with earthy ingredients like root vegies and cauliflower
  • Create gravy – use the chicken stock with the left over pan juices, lemon juice, a pinch of rapadura sugar and thicken with cornflour
  • Mix with butter, olive oil and garlic in a pan then quickly fry a whole head of broccoli florets and snow peas as a side dish
  • Mix it with olive oil and loads of herbs as a rub over potato wedge
  • The vegetable stock is a winner for vegetarians if you’re looking for a meat free meal.
  • Add to frittatas, quiche and vegie patties to give extra depth of flavour to the dish.
  • Add it to the water when cooking rice and couscous.

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