The Essential Ingredient began in 1986 as a mail-order business run from the Glebe home of Don and Jan Hodgson. In 1990, the first Essential store opened in Camperdown, an inner-city suburb of Sydney. That same year, Syd and Susan Weddell opened The Vital Ingredient store in South Melbourne. On its relocation to Prahran Market, the store adopted the The Essential Ingredient name.

Since then, six additional franchise stores have joined the The Essential Ingredient family. Today the stores located in Albury, Canberra, Newcastle, Orange, Prahran and South Melbourne continue to inspire with a comprehensive range of quality foods, cookware, culinary books and a growing number of cooking schools.

In 2006, Syd Weddell commenced as Managing Director of The Essential Ingredient franchise group, with Peter Walmsley as General Manager. In 2011 Peter was welcomed as a part owner with Syd and together they lead the franchise company as directors.

Today, Syd, Peter and their passionate team of professional foodies continue the search for essential ingredients and shape the vision of The Essential Ingredient as a market leading retailer and supplier to aspiring home cooks and discerning chefs.

With product knowledge and a commitment to service, The Essential Ingredient continues to inspire better cooks.