There’s something of the happy accident in the origin story of Sticky Balsamic. Owner Lea Priest spent 20 years working as a chef in a series of award-winning cafés and restaurants before he started his vinegar business. While looking for a particular flavour profile to enhance a dish he was developing for a restaurant, Priest started experimenting with making balsamic vinegar, which is created from grape by-product from the winemaking process. He loved the caramelised balsamic flavour he created so much that he believed it had the potential to go further. “And so I went from a background of restaurants and consulting to being a vinegar maker,” he says. Lea started Sticky Balsamic on a small scale in 2015, mostly selling his product at farmers’ markets. But as demand and his range grew – he began experimenting with balsamic vinegar infused with apples, pears, figs and pomegranates – Priest began to expand the business, and now Sticky Balsamic is made in a dedicated manufacturing facility, though still in small batches to maintain quality. The original range has been joined by Sticky Balsamic Pearls, a rich, sweet condiment that looks like caviar and can accompany anything from grilled meat to raw fish, pizza, and cheese and charcuterie platters.
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