As the bushfire crisis continues and the drought rages on, many of Australia’s regional and rural small businesses are doing it tough. So instead of heading to your nearest department store to fulfil your holiday shopping list, why not expand your horizons and #buyfromthebush?
Thanks to the #buyfromthebush campaign we’re more aware than ever of the myriad of clever, cute, delicious (and everything in between!) businesses from the bush. Here’s a dozen we think might tickle your fancy.
1. One Day Closer To Rain has many small businesses selling a variety of fabulous handmade goods from decorative tablewares to skin creams and soft toys, gifts suitable for all the family.
The group was started by Cassandra McLaren from Merriwa in far west New South Wales and has around 3100 members. Their food selection gifts with raw honey and hampers are winning choices. Christmas baubles are always a terrific gift when personalised with names and the year, and this clever manufacturer will mix individual glitter choices for her orders. And wine from regional NSW is a great gift idea, especially for the blokes who are hard to buy for.
David and Libby Koch
2. Dobson’s Distillery Lifetime lovers of gin and whiskey, husband and wife team Lyn and Stephen Dobson took their passion for spirits to the penultimate level after settling in the sleepy township of Kentucky in regional NSW. Their resulting venture, Dobson’s Distillery has become renowned the world over for the purity of its spirits. Fans of big blousy fragrant gins and Celtic style triple distilled whiskeys will go wide-eyed if they unwrap a bottle under the tree this Christmas. If you’re lucky, they’ll share a glass.
3. Dreamtime Tukka They say a bellyful of good tucker is the key to sweet dreams and Herb Smith, founder of Dreamtime Tukka is a big believer in the adage. Herb’s indigenous lineage, which can be traced back to the original Aboriginal Inhabitants of the Wellington Valley means he knows a thing or two about Aussie native foods. With Dreamtime Tukka he shares his knowledge, offering up a range of biscuits, bars and cakes with bush flavours such as wattleseed and lemon myrtle as the stars.
4. Superbee Honey Factory Got a hankering for some delicious honey? Then look no further than the Superbee Honey Factory. This family business founded in Tanawha in Queensland in 1968, relocated to NSW in 2008 and has been dishing up the region’s best honey ever since. As Australia’s largest privately-owned producer of honey, propolis and royal jelly, the Superbee honey factory also plays a huge role in educating the community on the mysterious and secret lives of bees.
Cec Busby, editor of Kochie’s Business Builders
5. Lizzie Horne Contemporary Australian printmaker While on art, Armidale artist Lizzie Horne’s digital prints of flowers and landscapes of the New England high country are colourful, wonderful and affordable.
6. Nundle Woollen Mill I love the Nundle Woollen Mill and the colours of their wool dyes, so I’m getting yarn for my knitting friend, a merino wool v-neck jumper and woollen socks because they’re so comfy.
7. Thankful4Farmers I’ve been to the farm run by chef Matt Moran’s dad, and eaten Moran family lamb, so I’m backing Thankful4farmers, where Moran is ambassador. You can donate directly or buy produce with some of the funds donated to the program. I’ll head to Victor Churchill in Sydney for a Saskia Beer turkey, some minced tarts and a dog bone for my labrador.
8. Bundarra Berkshire If you’re thinking Christmas ham, it’s hard to go past Bundarra Berkshire free range pork. From fresh pork to charcuterie and the triple-smoked ham, it’s delicious. And you can subscribe for regular hampers, including half a pig! The random cuts box – 4kg for $100 (hopefully with bacon) is always great fun.
Simon Thomsen, editor of StartUp Daily
10. Country Trasnportables Now this is a pretty big present but there’s got to be someone in your life looking to extend their living space – in an original way! Love the ingenuity and innovation of these from Country Transportables.
11. Jayde Chandler Art Art is one of those presents that keeps on giving and these are so bright and colourful – from Queensland mum of four, Jayde Chandler.
12. Milwoods Shoes Speaking of mums and kids, shoes like this don’t come around every day. I had the pleasure of meeting Jane Robertson the owner this year and I love how passionate she is about good shoes for kids, and keeping things local. Plus, look at these shoes!
Lucy Kippist, editor of Flying Solo