Urban Forager


Meet Lou Corteen, the creative mind behind Urban Forager, whose journey from marine biologist to preserve enthusiast is both unique and inspiring. Lou's passion for using real, locally sourced ingredients shines in every jar. Read on to learn all about Lou’s amazing journey…


Can you tell us a bit about your business? How did you get started?

Urban Forager launched in 2012 as a small preserve business, transforming excess backyard produce into delicious preserves. I hated seeing lemons and figs rotting in people’s backyards and knew I could create yummy goods with them. We swapped fruit for produce and sold our wares at local farmers’ markets. We won awards at the Perth Royal show and started gathering a following.  I had the richest interactions with people as I collected their unwanted fruit. When we needed to purchase ingredients, we bought certified organic, and we slowly added some 100% organic products using second-grade fruit that would otherwise go to waste. One of our best-selling products was a vegetable stock concentrate – something I had made for myself for years.  We recognised the demand for meat versions and developed a chicken and beef variety to join the vegetable. These products filled a gap in the market and as a result, we’ve had strong growth since launch, leading to national distribution. Urban Forager is stocked in over 800 retail stores across Australia. 


How do you make/grow/produce your product? What is your process?

What sets Urban Forager apart from conventional stocks on the market is our 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. We use lake salt from Lake Deborah in the southwest, mined by a family business 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. 

Our stock concentrates make cooking tasty dishes for yourself, your family, and your friends so much easier. Knowing it's a really healthy option makes that delicious flavour hit even better.


What do you love about your work?

Everything! We have an incredible team of staff, suppliers and customers and I feel very, very lucky to be doing what we're doing.

How important is making organic/sustainable products to you?

Extremely important, it's at the core of what we do at Urban Forager. We care deeply about the things that really matter, like the quality of ingredients we use – made in Australia, certified organic and free range. And of course, using local suppliers and sustainable practices wherever possible to protect the health of the planet and soils that feed and grow our ingredients.


If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chicken and veggie soup - the ultimate comfort meal!


Could you tell us an interesting/quirky fact about yourself?

I used to be a marine biologist, which I loved.  I think if I weren’t making food I’d definitely be working in science again, in conservation.


If you were a fruit or vegetable, which one would you be and why?

This one has me stumped… Maybe a pineapple? Tropical weather (and beach) loving and strong in flavour - sweet but with a little zing! Ha!
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