About Us

Top Shelf Preserves is a growing small business crafting small batch handmade pickles and preserves in Old Ottawa South.  Sara Pishva started the business in May 2013. She has worked hard to establish Top Shelf Preserves as the go-to purveyor of gourmet pickles and preserves in her hometown.

70A Leonard Ave at Hopewell ave in Old Ottawa South

70A Leonard Ave at Hopewell ave in Old Ottawa South

Fan favourites include Rhubarb Raisin Chutney (the ultimate cheese condiment), Spicy Pickled Carrots (with Korean chili flakes and organic garlic), Classic Pickled Beets (a fifth generation family recipe), and Blueberry Gin Jam (wild blueberries combined with Dillon’s gin and lime juice). In addition to a regular lineup of pickles and preserves, Chef-Owner Sara Pishva crafts a limited edition seasonal small batch every month.

Sara showing off Rhubarb Raisin Chutney

Sara grew up making and enjoying preserves with her family. Growing up on homegrown plums in syrup, sauerkraut, torshi (Persian pickled vegetables) and other old fashioned preserves, Sara has a taste for the tangy and vibrant flavours and wonderful textures of fruit and vegetable preserves of all kinds.

When studying at university and working as a cook Sara found it a challenge to eat wholesome meals. Living in a small bachelor apartment with no freezer she nevertheless got creative and used her small space to make a huge array of seasonal small batch pickles and preserves to eat year round on a budget. Sara always showed up to a party or get together with a few jars of something to share and soon had people asking to buy her pickles!

topshelfpreserves dill pickles jars bird eye

Sara practiced her craft in various Ottawa restaurants but longed for an opportunity to dive head first into what had long been a hobby. Encouragement from chefs and cooks helped Sara take the leap to start Top Shelf Preserves, and she established a humble pickling and preserving enterprise in 2013.

chutney texture

Sara now works full time supplying restaurants and specialty food retailers with her pickles and preserves. With a range of products that compliment charcuterie boards, lavish brunches, and late night snacking straight from the jar, Top Shelf Preserves is carving out a niche as a brand of quality and distinction in the specialty food market in Ontario.

lacto fermented pickled turnips

Top Shelf Preserves Dill & Garlic Pickled Beans are an all-time favourite, while many lust after the salty snap of our lively pink Fermented Turnips. We have Spicy Pickled Carrots that go perfectly with a cold beer or dunked in a Bloody Caesar and lots of limited edition seasonal products for the intrepid pickle lover.


For your next cheese plate or cocktail, take it up a notch with Top Shelf Preserves!


Updated March 16, 2016 by Sara

Small batch pickles & preserves handmade in Ottawa ON Canada