Getting a niche food product ranged in national supermarkets is no small feat, especially when it’s made from totally fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
But they say necessity is the mother of invention, so when Naked Byron Foods’ co-owner Anthony Goddard realised their home-style dip and salsa business was suffering growing pains, they were first in line for a customised production space within the Byron Food Hub.
Located in the vibrant Mullumbimby Industrial Estate, the Food Hub is the brainchild of locals Richard Kowalski and Sharon McGrath. Their decision to position it as a food-only facility offering tenants design flexibility has clearly paid off.
With the Food Hub happily humming away at full capacity, construction will soon commence on Stages 2 and 3.
Custom fit-outs and sustainable building features like passive ventilation, solar hot water and high-rated insulation will continue to be a focus as they expand.
After all, it’s a formula that has seen resident food producers flourish in the Food Hub’s first year.
Since moving into their new commercial-grade kitchen, Naked Byron has consistently attained the HACCP Food Certification required for ranging in independent supermarkets.
‘We’ve more than doubled our turnover in the last 12 months,’ Anthony says. ‘I have more confidence in our production process and how clean we can keep everything. We now have a huge fridge where we do all the packing so we can guarantee the quality.
‘Richard and Sharon are real can-do people. You actually see them around, and can talk to them in person when you have a problem.’
Fellow Food Hub tenant Simon Powick of organic artisan bakery Almond Road also enjoys this personal approach.
‘Along with the ability to specify our layout, a big plus is being able to have direct access to an owner who understands the construction side of things. You don’t have to go through an agent; you can just sit down over a coffee with Richard and talk through ideas,’ says Simon, who was able to negotiate upgrades such as an air-conditioned dry store to combat the heat sensitivity of his baking flour.
Stage 2 is due for completion mid-2017, with all but one of the spaces snapped up, and Stage 3 sites of between 125m2 and 1875m2 are now on offer.
‘A number of businesses are even relocating from Sydney and interstate,’ Richard says. ‘Byron Shire’s renowned clean, green environment naturally lends itself to producing great food, and our proximity to large urban centres and distribution networks allows them to remain competitive.’
For further information contact Richard Kowalski on 0431 339 004.