B & B Basil
B&B Basil began as a father and daughter team in 2000. After noticing a lack of locally grown herb products at the Melbourne fruit and vegetable market, George Bobin and Susie Young decided it was time to begin something new.
Experimenting with the seeding and growing process saw the increase in flavour quality and shelf life. One of many innovations included growing larger amounts of seeds from the single pot, thus allowing the product to have a greater shelf life and provide the consumer with a larger amount of product. After a few years of growing they noticed a greater market for micro herbs, expanding to grow a greater variety of micro herbs from start to finish on the single site.
By 2004 George and Susie decided it was time to move to a larger facility and hire some extra hands to help meet the growing demand.
With a love for food, the business always had great connections with the local chefs who use the products grown in their backyard, the range continued to grow with Bendigo’s most renowned chefs making requests for herbs unavailable anywhere else in Australia.
Buloke Park Olives
Anne and David Wilson primarily run a crop and sheep farm. They started dabbling in olive oil 10 years ago and won a bronze medal for their olive oil. This is now the sideline business since Anne began making olive oil lip balm. She now distributes these mostly around Victoria into 140 stores and is producing about 5000 lip balms a year. The lip balms are all natural and home made, free from chemicals, colours, scents and flavours…..and when you hear the rumours about women ingesting up to 12 kg of chemicals from their lipstick in a lifetime, this sounds like a good idea.
Robert and Jason Farrell are the helpers for these travelling bees who love to get around. With 200 hives, the season starts in August pollinating almonds and then they chase the flora around the state. Honey flows for about 2 months before they’re back on the truck and moved again. This is known as migratory bee keeping and allows the Farrells’ bees to produce (in a very good year) up to 30,000kg of honey. The honey is only just warmed with steam to allow it to run but never overheated as this ruins the honey by caramelising it. Most of the honey their bees produce is sold to Capilano and we are the only stockists aside from this- and we get the really good stuff. The type we get does change according to season but is usually Redgum, Yellowbox and Mallee as these are the better tasting varieties.
Castlemaine Rock was first made and sold from a tent in the Mt. Alexander diggings in 1853. Five generations later, Peter Barnes- the great, great grandson of the original maker, is still making it to the original recipe. The candy is handmade and has no artificial colours and the only flavour added is pure peppermint oil. With just one other worker, Peter hand makes about 40,000 tins of Castlemaine Rock a year.
Matt Pohle used to live in St. Andrews, work in IT and spend his weekend playing African Drums and drinking chai with friends. His chai became legendary and his career in IT began to slip into hazy memory as Matt opened a café briefly then moved to Chewton and started selling his chai at farmers markets and in retail outlets and cafes in Victoria.
In 2013 Matt took a bit of time to slow down and reflect when a mate from Lancefield asked him to come and give him a hand growing organic ginger and turmeric on a property in Billinuggel in Northern NSW. Matt tells us there will be a new ready-to-drink drink towards the end of the year using the first crop from NSW. He’s also working on another new range of organic chai and chocolate called Firehorse.
But for now, we’re really happy to enjoy the Chai Spice range….watch Facebook to know when we’ve got a big pot of it bubbling away on the tasting table…
Edmund and Elna started their coffee roasting business and “kaffeehaus” in Castlemaine after moving there from Melbourne in 1997. Originally from Austria, they bring over fifty years of family tradition and skill to the art of roasting and blending. They are a micro business focusing on quality rather than quantity and have both fair trade and organic lines.
“We love coffee, we love the smell, the taste; we are passionate about the culture of coffee, the sharing of good conversation, of art, of that European dedication to great beauty, style and enjoyment.”
You can find out more about their amazing products at www.coffeebasics.com
Dalhousie is a small family owned business started up by Robyn and Peter Turley. Originally a winery, their gourmet food business started out of necessity in the late 80’s recession when it was difficult to sell wine, so they started to put it into food products like wine mustard and prunes in port.
The winery still exists but now the gourmet foods and “foods for gifts” are by far the largest part of their business. They do beautiful little gift packs of mini jams I just love. This is a big call as I don’t have a sweet tooth.
Dalhousie now produces a variety of jams, marmalades, mustards, sauces and chutneys including a newer range of organic jams – a very rare find. Their product sales have expanded and are now available all over Australia as well as into Asia.
Emelia’s – The Saucy Australian
Ron and Emelia Prendergast have been in the restaurant game since the 1990’s, but originally started making condiments and sauces with one pot in the kitchen of their garage. As they grew bigger, so did their premises, first into their restaurant and then to the factory they are now in, where they produce more than 40 product lines. They are proud to be Australia’s most awarded condiment company and also the leading pickled onion producer in Australia. All of their products are natural, chemical free and gluten free.
Linton Greenwood is the third generation on his property. His father heard Alex Potolinski (Australia’s biodynamic pioneer) speak and then started to use biodynamic principles for soil management in 1964. Originally the Greenwood’s started contracting out to Robinvale wines but they found a juice plant in 1988 and have been making juice on their farm ever since. Linton’s wife is a former Bendigonian and they have 4 children, 3 of whom are now helping on the orchard. Linton’s sister has also been working with the business for 20 years.
The Greenwood’s are well known in the biodynamic world and host a conference at their property every year – apparently worth going, just for the food.
Their juices are free of all preservatives, artificial flavours, colours, added sugar or Vitamin C.
Half Pint Vegan Dairy
A little under two years ago Jules and Sam decided to become Vegan – realizing they may never eat a croissant again, as committed foodies they set about making vegan version of everything. The first challenge – a butter alternative – a great success, their minds obviously moved to life’s other necessity, ice cream. A batch was made, a test audience was summoned and Half-pint Dairy’s ice cream was declared a success.
Half Pint Dairy’s ice creams are all dairy free, gluten free, cruelty free and handmade in Wallan.
Jules Sam did their first farmers market in January 2014, met with their first shop in Feb, started selling wholesale in March and by June were stocking eight shops and fielding enquiries from all over Victoria and Australia. In September it was time to admit that this thing was big. And so a pozzible campaign was born to furnish the vision – dairy free love for everyone – A big butter mixer, two cool rooms and a truck to deliver it all in. The campaign was a success It’s December and things just keep looking brighter for our Vegan Gals and their goal to really contribute to and even influence the cruelty-free movement, as well as meet the needs of mouths watering across the vegan, dairy free and gluten free communities.
Holy Goat Cheese
Carla Meurs and Ann-Marie Monda have established an organically certified goat herd and farm cheese production which has just won them Australia’s overall Grand Champion Cheese Award – Their La Luna cheese is the first goats cheese to ever win the overall award. The goats on their farm have free range access to a rich variety of predominately native grasses, herbs and shrubs which produce high quality milk and cheeses with unique flavour. They keep their herd small to ensure these native pastures are preserved and their cheeses reflect the changes in the seasons. Ann-Marie and Carla have developed their skills on a huge range of farms both in Australia and overseas. Their cheese reflects the respect and care they have for the natural environment and the health and well-being of their 80 goats.
You can find out more about these two amazing ladies, their team and the holy goats at www.holygoatcheese.com
Bernie Jucan took over their parents business in Musk, producing divine cured and cooked pork products using methods from their Croatian ancestors from hundreds of years ago. Tasting this is essential, as you will especially never taste ham or bacon like it anywhere else.
They are completely nitrate and preservative free and use free range bred pigs which they source from western plains pork. All of their pork is used from suppliers based only in Victoria.
For those who want a bit of Istra joy on their Christmas table, ordering before November is essential.
Lauke Flour Mills are the last of Australia’s traditional family owned and operated independent Millers. They have been producing quality flour for 110 years and the third and fourth generations currently work in the business.
Lauke began and is still based in South Australia but in the year 2000, they acquired the 130 year old “Water Wheel” flour mill at Bridgewater on Loddon. This Mill is the only functional water driven mill in the Southern Hemisphere.
Grain is sourced preferentially from local areas depending on availability, seasonality and other requirements. They produce 30 unique flours and blend a range of 150 specialty products from these.
Sandy and Julie Cameron started up this farm based business when wool became unviable. Sandy, with his veterinary background, and Julie, a former nurse, took on sheep and goat dairying and cheese making. Today Meredith Dairy products are sold Australia wide (where they are the largest producer) and internationally. Sandy and Julie are great enthusiasts of sustainability. The whole farm and cheese factory run on green power. Julie has undertaken a massive tree planting program and all the dairy animal waste is spread onto the paddocks. Sandy is very proud of his earth worm populations and believes there is no point in doing something if you don’t leave the land in as good or better condition for the next generation.
Mount Zero Olives
The Mount Zero Olive Grove is one of the oldest olive groves in Australia – a family owned business that is committed to locally grown and produced fine foods.
Jane and Neil Seymour all work the farm which is a Demeter certified, biodynamic farm while Richard heads up the distribution arm of the business from Melbourne. The grove is self sustaining in its farming practices – feeding the trees directly form the soil humus rather than chemical inputs – and their energy supply is sourced from off-grid wind and solar generators.
Due to its location, bridging the Wimmera and Grampians regions, the grove is surrounded by fantastic produce – ranging from broad acre pulse and grain farms to small organic market gardens. Mount Zero Olives is able to supplement its range with some of the finest produce from these farms and gardens.
To find out more about their amazing farm and products you can go to www.mountzeroolives.com/our-story
Olive Branch Preserves
Olive Branch Preserves are becoming renowned in the local region where Laima Paine, with her husband, Ron, are to be seen at markets with their jams and chutneys with the eye-catching names. Kowabunga Kasoundi and Trampy Tomato Relish are amongst some of the favourites and started their life for the family’s own use and the occasional fundraiser.
Before long, Laima had to move herself into a commercial kitchen in Castlemaine, which she shares with Pud for all seasons (she also makes the sauces for their puddings). Laima still cooks the way she always has, using quality ingredients, local when possible, with no artificial additives, in small batches and with the same great taste.
Established in 2000 by Peter and Marlies Eicher, Saluté Oliva is a family-owned and operated olive business that produces first class organic certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Table Olives. We moved to Australia from Switzerland in the late 1980s. Until 2004 we lived in Melbourne and worked as engineers.
Having a real interest in quality food and also the desire to bring up a family in the country and be a part of a friendly, tight-knit community, an olive grove in Boort made a lot of sense. We purchased an 11ha piece of land near town in 1998.
Being very passionate about how food is produced, sold and used in our every day cooking, we grow all our products naturally. Being a family business means doing all jobs the farm requires.
You can find out more about Peter and Marlies’ amazing olive products at www.saluteoliva.com.au