#Inu8women / Alison Wykes


Connection means a lot to us, and we believe that lots of little stories create big connection. The #Inu8women series is how we share little stories about women who inspire us through their active lives. Learning from and sharing wisdom with like-minded women helps us to feel stronger, to feel supported and to be free to follow our joy. We believe we are better together.  


Alison Wykes, founder and owner of The Sydney Providore is a foodie at her core. Alison delivers premium, locally sourced fruit and vegetables infused with old-school charm and her personal chic style. The abundant, overfilled boxes are adorned with freshly cut herbs and flowers, wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string, and always include a carton of farm fresh organic eggs. 

Alison is a woman who manages to do it all, with ease. She offers the most beautiful homestyle hospitality to her family, friends and community. She is the first to offer home cooked meals to those in need, and cakes for the local bake sale. She's an accomplished cook, an avid gardener, stylist, backyard beekeeper, wife and mother to three fabulous teenagers. 

Can you use just a few words to describe how you live your life?

Treading lightly, time with family, realising the importance of nourishing the body and soul, giving kindness.

What is the work you do in the world?

I am a Providore, delivering premium fruit and vegetables. I am also an unpaid taxi service for my children! 



What does a typical day look like for you – are you able to walk us through it?

On a non-market day I spend the morning helping to get the kids ready for school, I then head to the gym for a 45-minute workout and enjoy a coffee after. The rest of the day is spent working from home and helping facilitate any after-school activities. 

We always eat fresh produce sourced directly from the markets and enjoy family dinners together. 

On market day, I am up at 3am to arrive early at the markets. I liaise with the growers and wholesalers to determine what is in season and what is premium in quality. I love the relationships I have established and enjoy learning about the dynamics that impact fruit and vegetable availability. For example, I source a lot of produce from the Sydney food bowl however I am also connected with growers who own and run farms in both Victoria and Queensland. During the Winter, growers will take Victorian farms off-line and focus on Queensland grown produce however with the recent floods in Queensland many seedlings were destroyed, and then the ground was too wet to plant. These farms will come back on-line however it means a 4-6 week delay in produce availability. 



I also have relationships with farmers like Sprout Stack in Brookvale in Sydney. This is an impressive Northern Beaches warehouse that has been converted to a vertical farm where veggies are grown sustainably in the perfect environment.

I take the time to source produce that is grown sustainably, that is pesticide free and has not travelled unnecessary distances. 

After the produce is selected, the rest of the day is spent packing into individual boxes and then delivering the boxes. 

It's always an early night on market day and dinner is always pre-prepared. 

What is your favourite way to exercise/move your body? Do you do this regularly? What do you love about it?

Early exercise is key for me, and my favourite is walking in nature. I love walking our dog Monte and I find that being out in nature has a restorative effect. 

What is your favourite activewear piece/s? Is there something that you currently own that you cannot do without?

Tights, a good crop, and a good water bottle.

Is taking time for rest and rejuvenation important to you? Do you engage in activities that nurture your mind, body and soul? If so, what are these activities?

I don't really have time for rest and rejuvenation! Family holidays are my time for rest and rejuvenation. What is practical at this stage of my life is to create moments for myself when we are away as a family. I enjoy getting up and going for an early walk by myself. If the location suits, I'll take a local yoga class.

What have you learnt from the last 2 years that you did not expect?

Everything we need is within our family unit. And, that it's important to look after nutrition, health, and wellbeing before anything else.



What do you expect from a new activewear company doing things differently?

1. That it is sustainable. 2. As a mature woman, that it addresses my changing needs and listens to the needs of its audience. For example, I do not want tights that are beige in colour and look like I'm not wearing any!

Thinking about your favourite activewear piece/s - are there features that are critical to your needs? Please share what they are.

Pockets in the tights are important to me - for phone and doggy poo bags. A crop must be comfortable and supportive.

What does simplicity mean to you? Is it important to you?

It is very important to me. It means to not overcomplicate and fill our lives just to be busy, and to have meaningful connections, but not necessarily lots of connections. 

What does a feeling of being connected mean to you?

Being a part of a tribe. Be it friends connected via children, community, being a good neighbour. 

In general, do you seek out new products that are created sustainably? Is this important to you when purchasing activewear?

Yes I do. I feel that with new technology and fabrics available, like recycled nylon, that it is important to make a sustainable choice.

Which influential women do you admire the most? And why?

Sophie Hansen because she is real and is championing Australian produce and homestyle cooking. 

What is exciting you at present?

The changing of the season in the garden, upcoming holidays and a family trip to Spain in September where we will walk part of the Camino de Santiago and then venture to Morocco. 

Is there a phrase or a word that you live by?

Kindness is key.

Do you have a favourite go-to winter warmer recipe you'd like to share with our community?

Enjoy this delicious and nourishing family favourite ... 

Chicken, leek and green olive pie

(serves 4)

1 chicken, about 1.8kg

olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon

3 leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced finely

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely

6 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tablespoons butter

10 mushrooms

1 cup whole green olives, stoned

250ml chicken stock

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons cream

1-2 sheets good quality store bought puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Rub the chicken all over with oil and season with salt and pepper and place in a roasting pan. Place the lemon inside the cavity of the chicken and roast the chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Once cooked set aside to cool, then remove the meat from the bones and shred it (reserving the pan juices) and arrange in the base of a five-cup pie dish or 4 individual pie dishes.

Add the leek, garlic, thyme and one tablespoon of butter to the remaining juices in the pan and cook for five minutes until the leek has softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes. Remove from the heat, mix in the olives and season to taste and spoon the mixture over the chicken.

Place the stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a separate saucepan melt the remaining butter. Sprinkle the flour over and cook, stirring, for two to three minutes until the flour is cooked. Add a tablespoon of heated stock and stir to amalgamate, then add the remaining stock and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Add the cream, reduce the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring. Taste and season to taste. Pour over the chicken.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cover the pie or individual pies with pastry ensuring there is enough pastry to fold over the edge. Seal the edges down with your finger. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg and cook for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is well browned.


Connect with Alison at The Sydney Providore and on Instagram