Skip to main content

How I shop: Carolyn Creswell

What do some of Australia’s top foodies put in their shopping trolleys every week? The founder of Carman’s Kitchen, Carolyn Creswell, shares her staples and some handy “parents’ secrets”.

Carolyn Creswell sitting on a couch

CEO and founder of Carman’s Kitchen, Carolyn Creswell: “My four kids absolutely love Aussie baby cucumbers in their lunchboxes.”

As an 18-year-old university student, Carolyn Creswell purchased the small muesli business she was working at for $1000. Close to 30 years later, Carman’s Kitchen has grown into a leading homegrown muesli brand, while its range of breakfast and snacking options are stocked in dozens of countries internationally. Dubbed “the muesli queen”, Carolyn continues to lead Carman’s in its pursuit of “real food, made with real passion”. 

In Carolyn’s trolley:

Qukes Baby Cucumbers 

My four kids absolutely love Aussie baby cucumbers in their lunchboxes. We buy multiple punnets each week because every time I pop them in whole into the lunchbox, they are always eaten. They are super crunchy, convenient and easy to push into their hands as they are running out the door, too. 

Mr Chen’s Frozen Prawn Hargow dumplings

One morning I had run out of bread to use for the school lunches so I improvised and put some prawn dumpling in a Thermos with some broth and chopped chives for our son’s lunch, and he came home saying it was the best lunch ever! This brand is very authentic; all the dumplings are handmade, and I have been lucky enough to meet the family that makes them in Melbourne. We keep heaps of these in the freezer and they are so easy and quick to cook. I like mine with a crispy chilli oil – delicious! 

Meredith Dairy Marinated Goat Cheese

When I had my first child, my husband was tasked with dinner and he would generally barbecue something and whip up a quick salad which was always baby spinach leaves, halved cherry tomatoes tossed with Meredith goat cheese drizzled with the oil from the jar. Today, 17 years later, this is still my go-to salad but if I am feeling fancy, I toast some slivered almonds and toss them through it as well.  

Bega Stringers

I think these stringers are a parents’ secret that kids think are a bit naughty, but they are actually just made from 100 per cent pure mozzarella cheese. They are great to add some protein and calcium to a lunchbox.  

Fruit Wise Fruit Straps

These amazing fruit leather straps are made in the Adelaide Hills from 100 per cent whole fruit. My kids love them, and it is great to be able to offer them a sweet treat knowing that they contain no added sugar. 

Carolyn Creswell carrying Carman's products

Lavazza Vigoroso Intensita Coffee Capsules

A friend got me onto these purple coffee pods recently and they have converted me to becoming an espresso drinker. It is a super smooth flavour and always has such a nice crema on top. 

Cobram Estate Classic Olive Oil

There is nothing better than Australian olive oil; a simple drizzle can transform any dish. I particularly like to use it just before I serve a meal, so the flavour stays alive. I have used Cobram for years. The trademarked pourer makes it easy to use and I love that it is such a wonderful Aussie success story. 

Tassal hot smoked salmon 

I always keep one of these pouches in the fridge. I can flake the salmon over a salad for a simple lunch or mix it through with some sour cream and dill for a delicious dip. I am yet to try this method, but a friend told me she puts the salmon in the air fryer for a crispy-skinned salmon dinner - yum!

Twinings Peppermint & Spearmint Tea

This is my absolute favourite tea. I think it is more interesting than just a straight peppermint tea. I try not to have caffeine after lunch, so this is my daily go-to for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Divine Classic Creme Caramels

I am not much of a dessert chef, which is why these are a regular in my trolley. My kids love them after dinner, and they are fancy enough to also serve to adults. They used to have these tags on the bottom that would pop open to get all the caramel sauce to come out. Although they no longer have that, they are still a family favourite and a staple in our fridge.


Carman’s Kitchen range of mueslis are available in the cereal aisle at Coles stores nationally.