Sauces to soaps – get to know Church Farm General Store from the ground up
Back in 2012, the old church in Billinudgel changed hands. Its purchasers were Andrew Morris and Amanda Callan, who soon moved in and turned the dreamy half-acre parcel into an organic vegetable garden. There was a bit of excess produce left over from their garden like herbs, habanero chillis, tomatoes, turmeric and ginger, so they decided to make a few of their own soaps and sauces. Then, to paraphrase Paul Kelly – from little things, big things grew.
Armed with their delicious sauces and natural soaps, Andrew and Amanda set up a small roadside stall out the front of their historical new home (yes, they actually live in the church) and called it Church Farm General Store. Understandably, the locals loved it, organic growth kicked in and they soon found themselves upping the ante and hitting the local farmers markets each week. Church Farm General Store products (made in a commercial kitchen in Mullumbimby) are now stocked nationwide in various boutique delis, health food shops and homewares stores, though the duo stick to their roots by setting up at the New Brighton, Mullumbimby and Byron Bay markets each week to dispense their goodness to Northern Rivers locals.
To put the products simply – they contain only the good stuff. The soaps are palm-oil free and are made with Australian extra-virgin olive oil, cold-pressed coconut oil, local hemp and macadamia oils, plus lemon myrtle and solar-infused calendula oil straight from Andrew and Amanda’s farm. Each soap takes 4–6 weeks to cure, which we’re told is very slow from a production perspective, but that’s the only way to give the skin the most benefits. As for the edible products like the curry pastes, barbecue sauce, ketchup, tomato passata (yum) and hot sauce (double yum), there are no cheap vegetable oils, refined sugars, artificial thickeners or colours in sight. The soaps and sauces are made from products taken straight from the farm itself or the immediate local region – and it’s all bottled up in the most delightful way to ensure pride of place in your home.
Check out the Church Farm General Store website for more. Be warned – you’ll want one of everything.
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