Sidewood’s new bottling facility a first for Adelaide Hills

Adelaide Hills winery Sidewood Estate is celebrating the completion of its multi-million dollar bottling facility – the first of its kind in the region.

The Nairne estate’s new bottling line can fill and label up to 3000 bottles per hour with an annual capacity of more than five million bottles.

The facility is the region’s first bottling line for sparkling wines.

Sidewood Estate owner Owen Inglis says the growth and demand for the business’s wines locally, nationally and internationally prompted the need for expansion.

He says the whole region is set to benefit from the new facility, which will allow third party contracts for other wine, cider and beer brands.

Sidewood’s Estate’s Darryl Catlin and Owen Inglis.

“Until now, local producers often have had to go as far as Port Adelaide, Barossa or McLaren Vale to bottle wine and ciders which can prove costly, but also importantly, due to the tyranny of distance, make it difficult for producers to monitor the packaging process of their own products,” Owen says.

“Providing regional producers with a quality alternative for local processing will be a highly attractive option for wineries and cider houses looking for commercially viable bottling and canning solutions.”

The new counter pressure bottling line allows for the bottling of products with bubbles, such as sparking wine, muscat and cider.

The bottling and canning equipment was part of a $4m expansion of the Nairne winery and was supported through a $856,000 grant from the former Labour State Government’s Regional Development Fund.

The operation of the bottling facility has allowed Sidewood to further increase its level of quality control, meaning the business owns the whole winemaking process.

This includes the growing of its grapes, to crushing, fermentation and maturation of its wines.

The winery has a focus on recycled water and also sources the majority of its electricity from solar power.

Aside from wine, Sidewood is also renowned for its ciders.

Fruit used in these beverages is 100% Adelaide Hills grown and is crushed, fermented, kegged, canned and bottled under the one roof.

Sidewood’s pear cider won a gong at the 2017 World Cider Awards in London.

Sidewood winemaker Darryl Catlin says the new line gives him “total control” over the winemaking process from start to finish, allowing him to keep producing award-winning wines and ciders.

“These facilities will help give Sidewood another edge in quality terms and the benefits of control,” he says.

“This is another example of Sidewood’s commitment to quality and the ability to have a vine to glass philosophy.”

Sidewood’s cellar door is located about 20 minutes away from the winery at Maximilian’s Restaurant at Verdun, while its vineyards are scattered across Oakbank, Echunga, Nairne and Verdun.

In 2017 Sidewood’s pear cider was named the Best Dry Style Pear Cider at the World Cider Awards in London.

Sidewood has received a number of other international and national awards, including achieving a five red star accreditation from James Halliday.

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Young speech pathologist finds a voice for those who need it most

AnglicareSA speech pathologist Megan Longbottom, 25, is helping young South Aussies with disabilities find their voice.

Based in the social service provider’s Autism Services Stream in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, Megan helps youth with disabilities to communicate either with words, communication devices, or sign language.

She may only be halfway through her 20s but has already managed to cement herself in South Australia’s health and disability sector, becoming a senior clinician at AnglicareSA and changing young lives.

“We naturally learn as young children to just start talking, but with these little ones with a disability that quite often never happens,” says Megan, an I Choose SA ambassador for Health and the NDIS.

“So to watch a child communicate independently and knowing that I had a part in that is probably the most amazing feeling.”

Growing up in a small country town in the state’s south east, Megan says she never wanted to do anything else with her life except help children with speech difficulties to learn to communicate.

“That was my only option when I finished school, speech pathology was all I wanted to do,” she says.

After graduating from Flinders University with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology Megan went rural for one year, working at SA Health before securing her current role.

She’s been with AnglicareSA since October 2015, but it’s over the past several months she has noticed major differences in the health sector due to the ongoing roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

AnglicareSA speech pathologist Megan Longbottom is an I Choose SA ambassador for Health and the NDIS.

The NDIS is for people with disabilities aged under 65 years, providing them with a funding package tailored to their care and support needs.

It’s expected to support more than 32,000 people with disabilities in SA once fully implemented by July, 2018.

“The NDIS has made a huge impact for participants and service providers,” Megan says.

“Individuals who were previously unable to access any support due to waiting lists or funding barriers are now able to have more control over the services they access, and the NDIS gave that to them.”

Aside from working as an NDIS customer advocate and working with children in AnglicareSA’s Autism Service Programs, Megan co-ordinates the Outreach Autism Therapeutic Service (OATS).

OATS is a one-on-one program for children diagnosed with a development delay or disability and involves speech pathologists and occupational therapists visiting homes, schools or childcare centres to improve communication skills, social interaction, and fine and gross motor skills.

Megan says that while the majority of her young clients have autism, others have developmental delay disorders, intellectual disabilities and mental health issues.

Some of her clients are aged as young as two, while others are young adults in their 20s.

Megan with one of her clients Rosa Nguyen.

“We work with a number of children who are non-verbal, so they have previously had no means of communication,” Megan says.

“We support them in implementing a communication device, whether that be an iPad or sign language, to give them the ability to use their voice to request different things.

“I think all the people who have access to the NDIS have really benefited from the service, especially those who didn’t have a lot of support in place before.”

Megan says she enjoys working at an organisation that provides a holistic service to clients.

“AnglicareSA also offers a broad range of services whether that be from financial services, to children’s respite care or adult disability services,” she says.

“It means we can support families throughout all aspects of their life … that’s what I really love about AnglicareSA.”

The organisation has a 150-year history in SA, employing 1800 staff, 700 volunteers and supporting almost 58,000 South Australians each year through a range of programs including foster care, aged care and Aboriginal services.

Megan says like many service providers across the state, AnglicareSA will be expanding its portfolio to cater from demand the NDIS brings.

And this, she says, means more jobs for young graduates and health care professionals.

“I can see the prospects in SA (and) the employment sector, and Adelaide as a place to live is growing, changing and really meeting the needs of a young working population,” Megan says.

“I have no plans to ever leave SA … it’s where I grew up and it’s where my passion is.”

Visit I Choose SA for Industry to learn more stories about key industry leaders, why they’ve chosen SA as a base and how the state is enabling them to succeed.

Cemetery CEO brings empathy and light to the darkest of places

For most of us, death is something we think about only when we are forced to. For Janet Miller, it is her reality every day.

Janet is the CEO of Adelaide’s Centennial Park Cemetery, where she can combine her strengths of commerciality and compassion.

She’s heard all the jokes – it’s a dead end job, deathly boring – but since taking up the role two years ago, Janet says she has discovered a new perspective on life now that she is dealing with the business of death.

A qualified accountant, Janet held several senior corporate positions, including as chief operating officer and then CEO of Perks Group, and then heading a major law firm before discovering her calling at Centennial Park.

While she loved the thrill and challenge of the corporate life, and was clearly good at it, Janet felt something was missing, something with more meaningful.

“For me, I need to have a strong sense of commerciality, but I also need a job to be tempered by compassion and empathy – I need those in equal measures,” she says.

“There are two elements to this job, so I get all of the challenges and complexities of the business and then I get all the warmth because all of the people who are drawn to this industry have that warmth and compassion.

“We are a commercial enterprise – we have to be because we have 150,000 people buried or memorialised here and we’ve made a promise to those families that we will look after this park forever and to do that takes money.

“We are owned by local government so I’ve got that overlay, and we provide a community service, so I’ve got to balance all of those things.

“When I tell people I worked at a cemetery there is often silence and tumble weeds and I have to say, ‘it’s okay, it’s a great job and I love it’.”

Centennial Park CEO Janet Miller says is a place for loved ones to reflect and remember.

Janet says there is a misconception that cemeteries are gloomy, creepy places but she describes Centennial Park as a beautiful space that feels like the Botanic Gardens.

Spread over 40ha, the park boasts 30 individually designed gardens and memorial areas, three chapels, the Jubilee Complex for functions and even a little island, Springbank Island, complete with frangipani trees, ducklings, birds and lush plant life.

Plans are also underway for a new café and a small playground.

“Funerals are becoming less sad and more of a celebration of life, so the days of people wearing black to funerals, we are seeing much less of that and often a family will want people to come in a certain bright colour as they pay tribute to the person’s life, remembering the good times and the fun things that person did,” she says.

However, Janet is realistic about a cemetery being a place of sadness and of saying goodbye to loved ones – but she emphasises it also needs to be an inviting, peaceful spot to linger, reflect and remember.

“Whilst we cater for people looking for a memorial or final resting place, we are here for the living,” she says.

“We cater for the deceased but we need to be a place where people want to come and feel really proud and happy that this is the place they’ve chosen for their loved one.”

When it comes to emotions about death, Janet says we don’t need to fear it, but understand it as a natural part of life.

One thing that has become clear since taking up her current role is how little people plan for their funeral.

“So few people communicate what they want for their funeral,” she says.

“We never know what is around the corner, and there is a superstition that if you talk about your funeral it will somehow bring on an early demise, but the more we can normalise the conversation, the better we are making inroads there.

“We are trying to make it as natural as possible because it’s such a natural element of life and it doesn’t need to be feared or hidden away or taboo. It is so important for people to be super clear with their family about what they want.

“We have a little book here called ‘My Life Book’, and it’s full of questions about you – it creates a record of what you would like your funeral service to look like.

“People hope they’re doing the right thing for their deceased loved one but they’re not really sure. We did some market research and 90% of people said the number one thing that is important about a funeral is not the cost, it was making sure they had captured the final wishes of the person who had passed away.

Janet says 70% of people choose cremation over burial, and Centennial Park also caters for a variety of cultures and ceremonies, including the Hindu community.

In their culture the eldest male in the family traditionally places the deceased loved one on to the funeral pyre.

To simulate this, the cemetery has a “load insertion button”, which can be pushed to gently load the coffin into the cremator.

“This role is absolutely fascinating and so different from my previous roles,” Janet says.

“I would never go back to the corporate world, this is just wonderful.”

How to choose SA this Easter

We’re the birthplace of Haigh’s Chocolates, our Easter seafood is the best in the nation and we knew that combining Fruchocs and hot cross buns was a legendary move.

South Aussies know how to make the most of Easter, whether it’s camping under the stars in the Flinders Ranges or nibbling the ears off a chocolate bilby at the Beehive Corner.

With the four-day break only days away, we’ve compiled a list of ways to choose South Australian businesses, products and places this Easter.

Don’t forget to share your local purchases or experiences with us on Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #ichoosesa

1. Stick around

Why gallivant around elsewhere when some of the most stunning landscapes, natural hideaways and pristine environments are on our doorstep?

Eyre or Yorke Peninsula coastal getaways, Far North explorations, Limestone Coast escapes and Barossa Valley wonders are all reachable within a day’s drive (or flight).

When you choose to holiday locally, you support local accommodation providers, the hospitality sector, shops, businesses and families.

So pick a spot you haven’t been before or return to an old favourite.

The Adelaide Central Market is a good place to collect Easter seafood that’s fresh and local.

2. Stock up at the Adelaide Central Market

Almost half-a-million shoppers are expected to wander through this foodie’s paradise in the lead up to Easter, on the hunt for fresh products, local seafood and traditional Easter eats.

Market traders are expecting to sell more than one million kilograms of fresh produce before the weekend, with Easter rating as the market’s second biggest trading period of the year.

Samtass Seafoods is expecting to sell 500kg of fresh local snapper, 250kg of Spencer Gulf prawns and 100kg of local flathead fillets, while market bakers will churn out more than 75,000 hot cross buns.

Visit the Kangaroo Island Stall in the market for a selection of island produce, including the ultimate Easter feast, southern rock lobsters by Ferguson Australia.

3. Go fishing in one of SA’s pristine ocean spots 

From the clear and peaceful waters of the Yorke Peninsula to the true fisher’s territory off Kangaroo Island, there are plenty of good spots to wet a line in SA.

Autumn is the time for mullet as the fish school in large numbers, while catches of flathead and the much-prized King George whiting increase in the lead up to winter.

Stuck on where to go? Check out our Top 10 Fishing Spots.

Simon Haigh from Haigh’s Chocolates is an I Choose SA ambassador.

4. Get your chocolate fix from a local chocolatier

From the legendary Haigh’s Chocolates, to a hot-cross bun flavoured Red Cacao truffle, SA knows a thing or two about Easter indulgences.

Chocolatiers are perfectionists and sticklers for quality so you can be sure that a beautifully packaged Easter treat has been made with love and probably hand-packaged as well.

Try Melba’s Chocolates at Woodside, Bracegirdle’s House of Fine Chocolate, Chocolate @ N°5 in Hahndorf, Just Bliss, or the Port Elliot-based Carob Kitchen.

5. Frock up for the Easter races

The Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival in the Adelaide Hills is one of the biggest events on the state’s racing calendar, with the tradition dating back almost 150 years.

This year the carnival will undergo a bit of a reshuffle, as the Great Eastern Steeplechase moves from Easter Monday to Easter Saturday, with the latter expected to draw crowds of about 20,000 people.

The Clare Easter Races will also unfold on Saturday, March 31, and seeing as the Clare Valley is home to some of the state’s finest wines and produce, expect gourmet offerings.

6. Cling onto the Fringe madness

The Adelaide Fringe might have gone into hibernation for another 12 months, but in Whyalla the party is just getting started.

The UneARTH Festival is on March 30 and 31, providing creatives, artists and locals a chance to enjoy everything from circus acts to music and cabaret.

7. Have a hot-cross-bun-a-thon

There is nothing more mood-lifting than watching butter melt on a toasted hot cross bun.

Longstanding family business Kytons Bakery do a good all-round version of the spiced sweet buns (and even a Fruchoc variety!) while we hear that Red Door Bakery is also among the best bun makers in town.

Give a few local bakeries a go and rate them out of 10!

8. Fly a kite at Semaphore

Kite flying is a childhood pastime and in Semaphore the sky will come alive with colour for the Adelaide International Kite Festival from March 31 – April 2.

The free community event at Semaphore Beach will feature South Aussie kite fliers going up against New Zealanders and interstate visitors.

A festival marketplace with wares and activities will be open from 11am–5pm each day.

9. Soak up the tunes at the Blenheim festival

About 2000 people are expected to gather in the Clare Valley for the annual Blenheim Music and Camping Festival from March 29–30.

Listen to tunes by the likes of The Black Seeds, Mojo Juju, Timberwolf, Bootleg Rascal, Z-Star Delta, Kings and Associates, Wanderers and Emdee.

Festival-goers can camp (or glamp if it’s more your style) under the stars and do it all again the next day.

Blenheim is family friendly event with all ages welcome.

Zoos SA CEO Elaine Bensted is an I Choose SA ambassador.

10. Visit the zoo

Adelaide and Monarto zoos will both be open over Easter.

Free choccie eggs will be on offer and visitors have the chance to see a real life Easter bilby.

Monarto Zoo’s Lions 360 experience will also run as usual – although this heart-stopping chance to get up and close to the king of the jungle is popular so be sure to book before you go.

11. Get on ya bike!

With an extensive network of trails across national parks, forests and reserves, Adelaide’s Mt Lofty Ranges is well on its way to becoming an international mountain biking destination.

So dust the cobwebs off the deadly treadly, pump up those tyres and explore some pretty amazing scenery at the Cudlee Creek Forest, Eagle Mountain Bike Park, the Belair National Park or Sturt Gorge Recreation Park.

Check out more spots here.

12. Take your pooch on an Easter egg hunt.

Yes, really.

The Woofery Dog Bakery is hosting a free doggie Easter hunt on Saturday, March 31, at Plant 4 Bowden.

Four-legged friends will be sniffing out dog-friendly Easter treats in Bowden Park and humans can also indulge as the Plant 4 market stalls will be open from 9am–3pm.

Register your pooch here.

Phil Sims from Robern Menz is an I Choose SA ambassador. The longstanding SA business is bound to get a workout in the lead up to Easter.

13. Grab a FruChocs showbag at Coles

Fruchocs maker Robern Menz has been around for 150 years and is one of the state’s strongest family businesses spanning over four generations.

This Easter they’ve launched a $10 FruChocs Easter showbag in all Coles supermarkets across SA.

Featuring a trio of Fruchocs varieties, the goodie bag is the perfect Easter gift to take to that Easter barbecue.

14. Graze your way around a farmers market

Prepare to stretch your I Choose SA tote bag to its limits this weekend, as many farmers markets will welcome Easter treats to the usual lineup of fresh produce.

Farmers markets are great places to not only smash the weekly shop, but sample local produce and chat to the farmer or maker all in the one spot.

Many SA farmers markets have live music, hot coffee and delicious pastries to keep you going while you stock up for an Easter Sunday feast.

Check out this list of SA farmers markets, but consult Google to check if the one closest to you is running over Easter!

15. Enjoy the bizarre pre-Good Friday rush at your local supermarket

There’s nothing quite like the Easter Thursday rush that has grocery shoppers in a flurry.

Mums and dads are flying through the aisles with chocolate-smeared toddlers hanging from their trolleys, the cheese and cracker section is getting a good work out and everyone’s arguing over what box of Shapes to take on the camping trip.

It’s busy and a bit crazy, but the pre-holiday spirit is infectious.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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SALT Festival makes a splash on Eyre Peninsula

Thousands of people are expected to descend on the Eyre Peninsula to indulge in a collection of arts and cultural events next month when the 2018 SALT Festival makes its second splash.

Colour and creativity will be reignited across southern Eyre Peninsula towns, including Coffin Bay, Tumby Bay and Port Lincoln, from April 20–29 following a successful first edition in 2017.

SALT organisers say the 2018 festival, featuring more than 200 events, has attracted interest from international publication GQ France magazine with the event potentially appearing in an upcoming edition.

Sculptors Marijan Bekic, front, and Silvio Apponyi at the 2017 SALT Festival. PHOTO: Port Lincoln Times.

SA continues to build its relationship with France since French company Naval (formerly DCNS) was awarded the Future Submarines Contract to be carried out in Adelaide.

Adelaide also joins the French city of Bordeaux in being an internationally recognised wine region and member of the exclusive Great Wine Capitals Network.

The SALT Festival is hosted by volunteer group Southern Eyre Arts (SEA).

SEA team member Andrea Broadfoot says last year’s festival attracted more than 6500 people to the region, meaning visitors could enjoy the selection of world-class tourism offerings on offer along the peninsula.

“People are seeing the Eyre Peninsula as a world class destination,” she says.

“Nowhere else but the Eyre Peninsula can you enjoy such premium, fresh seafood, eat freshly shucked oysters on the beach and swim with sharks.”

The theme for the 2018 SALT Festival is ‘Anything is Possible’.

Feature events include a one-night only performance by internationally acclaimed jazz musician James Morrison and his Quartet at Port Lincoln’s Nautilus Art Centre.

Internationally renowned jazz musician James Morrison will fly to Port Lincoln in his personal plane.

Australian surf-roots-reggae band The Beautiful Girls will share their coastal sounds while Adelaide indie/folk artist Timberwolf and Port Lincoln’s own Luke Morris will also engage audiences.

Internationally renowned photographer Che Chorley will present Land Sea You Me in an immersive exhibition capturing the sights, sounds and images of a 5000km bike ride across SA.

Colour Tumby Committee – a sub group led by the town’s progress association – will present the inaugural Street Art Festival as a feature event within SALT.

Former climate change advisor to the Federal Government, Professor Ross Garnaut, will host the In the Zone Energy Futures Summit to explore climate change and renewable energy opportunities for the region.

A number of Australian and international comedians will also take to the stage including Aussie Jon Bennett and Toronto-based Amy Cunningham.

Luke Morris will be back in his hometown to perform at SALT.

The inaugural SALT Festival “far exceeded the expectations of the organisers” when a target of 35 events swelled to 100 events in 27 venues across seven towns.

“Events sold out, art sold out, people filled the streets and the venues, all expressing how inspired they felt by the contributions in the program,” says SEA chairperson Jack Ritchie.

“We are inviting visitors from Adelaide to enjoy a road trip or a short plane ride to attend 10 days of salty goodness.

“Over 900,000 people living in Adelaide haven’t visited Eyre Peninsula, and this is their chance to be part of something amazing in awesome April.”

The 2017 festival attracted recognition after being nominated for a Ruby Arts Award in 2017 for best community or regional impact under $100,000.

The Ruby Awards is an arts awards program celebrating the best of SA’s arts and cultural sector.

The SALT Festival website, by Port Lincoln creative agency Momentum Design, was also recognised as one of the world’s best websites in 2017 after taking out a CDAA International Web Design award.

For more information on the SALT Festival click here.

Header image courtesy of SA Rips.

Check out the below clip of the SALT Festival by Mark Thomas of Missing Link Media.

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TV personality Scott Bidmead: You can make it in SA!

Before young TV personality Scott Bidmead moved to Adelaide, he knew nothing about South Australia except two words: Barossa Valley.

Originally from Queensland, the journalist moved to the southern state almost three years ago to take a job as a TV presenter and producer at Channel 10, and now calls SA home.

He was the SA face of children’s series Totally Wild, produced other shows and occasionally presented the weather live for Ten Eyewitness News.

It only took a little more than a year for the high achiever – who is also a positive psychology graduate – to choose Adelaide as the city to run his own business, Mead Media.

Scott presenting the weather for Ten Eyewitness News.

“I honestly didn’t have many expectations, or I didn’t really know much about Adelaide before I came here,” Scott says.

“I just thought this was such an amazing unknown place – it doesn’t get enough credit for what it’s worth.

“I realised how much I liked it here, I had a business a few years ago that I ran before, but had moved more into the TV producing/presenting side of things.

“So I reinvigorated and rebranded it, and took it from there.”

The result was public relations and positive media house Mead Media, based at Hub Adelaide, on Peel Street.

Mead Media has worked with a number of local and international clients to help share their stories through online, TV and traditional content creation.

Scott took his Mead Media team to the Gold Coast recently to film a mini-series in the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Earlier in 2018 Scott and his crew travelled to the Gold Coast to film a six-part mini-series for the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games.

He directed and presented the series that explores various communities around the coast and interviews athletes visiting from different countries within the Commonwealth.

The Communities of the Games series will be launched across the Games’ official social media channels and network, with the potential of it airing on national TV before April.

Mead Media has a team of about 15 creatives, including videographers, graphic designers and journalists, who have produced content for local and international clients.

These include agencies as large as the Federal Government, Cover More Travel Insurance and smaller brands including Adelaide immersion therapy specialist Determined2.

Scott being interviewed for Chinese TV during a recent visit.

Scott has also shared his talents with China, hosting a massive cycling event and travelling around the Tibetan plateau in 2017.

“A friend of mine who works for (sports network) Eurosport contacted me and said we want you to come speak and host this cycling race in the Tibetan plateau,” he says.

“It turns out it’s the fourth biggest cycling race in the world and I don’t know anything about cycling, so I had much to learn!

“We spent two-and-a-half weeks travelling across the Tibetan plateau, we covered 1500km, hosted the race, and spoke at different events and on national TV.”

During this trip he met with delegates and officials from China Tourism who asked him to come back to film a documentary on Hainan, China.

On the second visit Scott shot the first episode of travel and lifestyle show, Open Ended, a “passion project” of Mead Media.

//“The lifestyle show is all about adventure, success and wellbeing,” he says.

“I still love that travel lifestyle, but I wanted it to have a bit more of a purpose, an impact and the ability to help people.

“We’ve shot the pilots and we’re just looking at where to distribute it … we’ve got some contacts but nothing is confirmed.”

Open Ended is also an online magazine produced by a team of 10 journalists across Australia.

Despite being midway through his 20s, Scott is aiming to take his media pursuits further, is writing a book and is also on his way to achieving his Masters in Applied Positive Psychology.

So why foster all that talent in Adelaide?

Can’t wait to use the new rig #gc2018 @sonyalpha A7rii #35mm #4k 📷

A post shared by Scott Bidmead (@scottbidmead) on

Because of the city’s evolving entrepreneurial spirit and its networking opportunities, he says.

“In SA, if you have a contact you can just catch up (at a) café down here, drinks there, the office is just here, everything is central and you can leverage those networks,” Scott says.

“Wherever you are you still have to work at it, it’s not about resources it’s about resourcefulness.

“You can make it in SA.”

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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Kytons turns 80, bakes half a million hot cross buns

Sugar and spice, Easter and hot cross buns, Darren and Sharon.

Some things are just meant to be together, and for South Australia’s Kytons Bakery duo Darren and Sharon Sutton, their business’s 80th year will be met with more hard work and truckloads of flour.

By Easter weekend, their Edwardstown bakehouse will have churned out 500,000 hot cross buns, made by a team of bakers from 18 tonnes of Laucke flour and several pallets of dried fruit.

Sharon says the longstanding bakery is “manic” in the lead up to Easter as its workforce swells from the usual 10 staff to 30 people who work around the clock to ensure South Australians can enjoy the spiced sweet buns on time.

Kytons will bake 500,000 hot cross buns in the lead up to Easter this year.

“In the last week before Easter we’re running for about 24 hours a day,” she says.

“Aside from the hot cross buns we also sell a lot of lamingtons, waffles and cookies.

“Products are piled up on pallets ready to be delivered, the music is usually up really loud and we’re working very long hours, but it’s a good time.”

In the past 80 years, Kytons has been through a few transformations and put a spin on a classic Easter treat.

Six years ago, a local radio station ran a campaign to discover a new flavour of hot cross buns.

The result was a Kytons and Robern Menz collaboration, with only 1000 Fruchoc hot cross bun packets made for the exclusive promotion that certainly caught on.

“People were queued up outside the radio station on Easter Thursday morning,” Sharon says.

“The Fruchoc hot cross bun has now become a part of people’s Easter tradition. I have a friend who takes them away every year and grills them on their barbecue, to melt the chocolate with that charred barbecue taste.”

Aside from hot cross buns, Kytons is also renowned for making the quintessential Australian cake, the lamington.

The Kytons wrapped, chocolate-dipped and coconut-sprinkled sponge cake has existed in children’s lunchboxes and pantry cupboards for decades.

The lamington is believed to have been invented in Australia in the late 1800s and named after Lord Lamington, who served as the Governor of Queensland until 1901.

“There are lots of stories but that’s the most plausible one,” says Sharon.

“They were invented by the cooks in government house in Queensland … they had guests for afternoon tea and all they had was dry cake.

“So they dipped it in chocolate to make it softer and then dipped it in coconut so they’re fingers wouldn’t get as sticky.”

Kytons lamingtons have twice been crowned best in the country, while the recipes used to make the cakes have remain relatively unchanged.

School children of the 1980s and ’90s would remember Kytons’ fundraising lamington drive, an initiative that would benefit thousands of community groups and projects over the years.

Kytons supplied sheets of sponge cake, chocolate dip and shredded coconut to schools, Scouts, Girl Guides and churches to make lamingtons, sell them and raise money.

“Kytons has become a part of the SA community whether it’s through the fundraising drives or just those habits like kids having a lamington in their lunchbox at school,” Sharon says.

“That’s something we’re really proud of and happy to be a part of people’s memories.”

Sharon Sutton is an I Choose SA ambassador.

The Kytons brand was established in SA in 1938 by the Hignett Brothers.

The catering company had a stall at the Adelaide Central Market in the 1940s before a bakehouse was built on Carrington Street in the 1950s.

In 1975 the business was sold to John and Carol Darwin but remained in the Central Market until 1988, selling cakes and buns.

In its 80 years, Kytons has only been sold twice.

The Suttons bought it in 2003 after owning a bakery at Flagstaff Hill for 10 years. Darren had worked at Kytons as a teenager, as his best mate’s father was the owner.

Darren baked, while Sharon – who has a university degree in politics – took over administration and marketing roles, later becoming the face of the bakery and an I Choose SA ambassador.

It’s not every day you’re on the back of a bus. Unless, you’re an I Choose SA ambassador of course!

The Suttons introduced Kytons products to Foodland and Woolworths supermarkets, cafés and greengrocers, while the fundraising drives now makes up about 25-30% of the business.

More recently Kytons has secured a NSW distributor, meaning Sydneysiders are set to enjoy the baked secrets of SA.

Sharon says she’s noticed that SA consumers are consistently eager to back local producers and makers, as seen with the the revival of Spring Gully in 2017.

“SA consumers are becoming very parochial about what they want to eat, where it comes from and the provenance behind it,” she says.

“The food community we have here in SA is the envy of other states.”

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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Driving independence in our youth with disability

Northern suburbs woman Cathy Ryan remembers being only five years old when caring for her father, Kevin, who was left paralysed after contracting the crippling polio virus.

With the disease robbing her father of the ability to use his arms, a school-aged Cathy would stand on a stool to reach him, helping brush his teeth, shave, and comb his hair.

Her childhood ignited a desire to improve the independence of people with disability, and now Cathy is behind Empowering Futures, a learning environment helping to “fill the gap” in the disabilities sector.

“I could see the grief in Dad’s face when he had to ask me to do something,” she says.

“It taught me of the importance of helping people with disabilities to become as independent as possible.”

Based in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, Empowering Futures gives participants one-on-one training in everyday life skills, teaching them to live independently and reach their full potential.

Cathy has worked in the disability sector for more than 30 years.

Cathy says her business offers the only ‘simulated training house’ of its kind in SA, allowing people with disability to learn to cook and practice personal hygiene in a home-like environment.

The house in Salisbury East replicates the style and layout of a typical home so that people with disability can recognise similarities between the facility and their own residence.

About 40 people are signed up with Empowering Futures, the majority of them having intellectual disabilities, autism or Down syndrome.

Participants take part in programs, including the Independent Living Skills, Self Advocacy, Young Women’s and Young Men’s programs, to improve self esteem and confidence, carry out meal planning, cook, manage their finances and use public transport.

Empowering Futures also works with the Northern Adelaide Disability Workforce Hub to run work-ready programs to increase opportunities of entering mainstream employment.

Cathy says parents of young people with disability are often unaware that their children are capable of living independently if given the right tools and support.

“Parents are not always aware of what their children can do, they’re often quite surprised,” she says.

“So it’s about working with parents and the public as well … there are a lot of barriers we need to break down.


The Empowering Futures participants outside the simulated training house.

Cathy says she’s hoping to kick-start a Healthy Options course that teaches participants how to grow their own vegetables and herbs, plan meals, cook, and share meals together.

About 30 people are already on the waiting list, and she’s seeking a sponsor to help fund the program.

“I saw my father struggle and have seen different people struggle throughout my career, and I’m always asking myself, ‘why are there people living like this?'” Cathy says.

“I want to help people find their voice, make their own choices and take control of their own future.”

Cathy welcomes the continued rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in SA and says it will provide people with disability greater choice in accessing support programs and community activities.

“I think it will be really good for people who don’t necessarily have complex disabilities, but need to learn independence skills,” she says.

“It will allow them to get out of the house, be a part of the community and give them direction.”

Empowering Futures gives youth a chance to make friends and take part in new experiences.

Cathy began her working life as a student support officer with children with Down syndrome and autism at a Melbourne school.

She later spent 15 years at Domiciliary Care, working with the elderly, before heading to Disability SA for another 15 years.

Cathy is also passionate about improving the quality and skills of the disability sector workforce.

Her soon-to-be-expanded Disability Support Worker Training Program aims to quash stereotypes about working with people with disability and teaches employees to always ask before offering help to clients.

She says working in the disability sector “brings you back to reality”.

“You realise that life isn’t that bad,” Cathy says.

“People with disabilities just get on with it – a lesson we could all learn.”

Visit I Choose SA for Industry to learn more stories about key industry leaders, why they’ve chosen SA as a base and how the state is enabling them to succeed.

The island beekeeper and his pure passion for the sweet stuff

After years spent hanging around hives of hardworking honey bees, Kangaroo Island local Peter Davis is still fascinated – and never in fear – of the industrious insects.

“You become fascinated by their ability,” says Peter, owner of one of the country’s biggest organic honey producers, Island Beehive.

“If the conditions are right, they can be so gentle. I never wear gloves.

“I’ve had people who are allergic or afraid of bees and within three minutes their hand is comfortably covered in them.”

Peter David grew up around bees on Kangaroo Island, home to the world’s only remaining purebred population of the Ligurian honey bee.

After growing up on his family’s mixed-use farm on Kangaroo Island, Peter developed a soft spot for one of his homeland’s major differences – the Ligurian honey bee.

Kangaroo Island is home to the world’s only remaining pure strain of the Ligurian bee and is also the world’s oldest bee sanctuary.

The Ligurian bee, originally from Italy, was imported by the SA Chamber of Manufactures in the early 1880s and shortly after the 4500 square-kilometre island was declared a bee sanctuary.

Bees cannot fly the distance between the mainland and Kangaroo Island, meaning the island has remained free of bee diseases.

Peter, who grew up near the government apiary at Flinders Chase in the 1950s, has dedicated his working life to protecting the Ligurian bee and learning of its heritage.

Peter’s hives are scattered throughout the island.

“It’s really important that we make Kangaroo Island locals a part of the heritage and that they want to participate in it,” he says.

“Over the last 12 years there’s been a dramatic change of awareness in people around the world doing everything they can to protect all bees.

“But I think we can do much more.”

Learning how to breed queen bees from a young age, Peter continued his passion for beekeeping and producing honey products.

He first sent queen bees to Denmark in 1991, and two years later received a request from Sweden for 250 more.

In 1995, he sent another 250 queens and was fast becoming well-known among overseas apiarists.

Now the 71-year-old runs the Island Beehive factory in Kangaroo Island’s main hub of Kingscote and produces up to 200 tonnes of honey per year.

Ligurian honey has a delicate, subtle flavour.

“We export about 60 tonnes of honey a year, with 40 tonnes going to Japan,” he says.

“They’ve been our customer for over nine years, however, one of the best ways to export honey is by people coming through the doors and taking products home with them.

“You can’t take honey to New Zealand or WA, but you can virtually anywhere else in the world.”

Island Beehive has more than 1000 beehives scattered across the island and employs 14 people.

Kangaroo Island Ligurian Honey is sold in the factory’s shop and in other outlets across the island.

It’s also sold in 200L drums and sent across Australia and to Japan.

Peter’s honey has been known to support many other South Australian food manufacturers, including Spring Gully and B.-d. Farm Paris Creek.

“We created a demand,” he says.

“Ligurian bee honey tastes so much better than other honey because we have such a diverse range of flora on Kangaroo Island.

“We have species of mallee that aren’t found anywhere else in the world.”

So you wanna be a beekeeper?

TAFE SA is offering a short course in beekeeping on March 17 and 18, April 7 and 8, and May 12 and 13.

The two-day beginners short course at TAFE SA’s Urrbrae campus and beekeeping site in the Adelaide Hills covers topics including new hives, diseases, honey extraction and legal requirements.

For more information click here.

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Chinese tourists love our Coffin Bay oysters

A Coffin Bay oyster farm tour, the only of its kind in Australia where participants taste fresh oysters straight from the sea, is experiencing a surge of Chinese tourists.

The interest from the overseas visitors has prompted Oyster Farm Tours in the Eyre Peninsula seafood hotspot to employ a Chinese interpreter.

Oyster farmer and tour operator Ben Catterall says Chinese tourists’ love for the Coffin Bay seafood delicacy has increased following a visit from Chinese media personality Madam Gigi Wong for her travelogue, TVB Anywhere.

In late 2017 Oyster Farm Tours was also visited by Chinese megastar Huang Xiaoming, who has 53 million social media followers and has ranked as China’s biggest male celebrity four years in a row.

A video of his overall SA visit – including footage of him enjoying Coffin Bay oysters – is being shared to millions of people overseas as part of an SA Tourism Commission campaign.

In 2017, Chinese tourists pumped $352m into SA’s visitor economy, up 74% in 12 months.

Ben says the increase in Chinese tourists led to the employment of Sunny, a Chinese interpreter who can help communicate the history of the area and oyster farming practices.

“Thirty percent of our tour guests are Chinese,” he says.

“We’ve run tours for 2000 people (overall) in 12 months, and that’s up 100% on the year before.

“It’s because of the pristine environment that we live in and people know that our seafood is going to be fresh and it’s all local.”

Coffin Bay oyster farmer Ben Catterall with some of the delicacies enjoyed on the tours.

Oyster Farm Tours allow guests to learn about oyster farming practices and the history of Coffin Bay.

Tour guests first gather at Ben and his partner Kim’s Beachcomber Bakery and Café to be fitted into waterproof waders.

They then make their way out into the pristine ocean and climb onto a pavilion in the middle of a commercial oyster lease.

Tours include a shucking lesson and a tasting of Pacific and native Angasi oysters straight from the sea.

Ben, who has oyster farms at both Coffin Bay and Streaky Bay, says freshly shucked oysters are much different in taste and texture to the ones people are used to eating.

“They’ve got that sea salt taste and the natural liquids,” he says.

“The majority of the participants do the tour in pairs, one of them loves oysters and the other one has come in support.

“But I have a high hit rate in converting people to enjoy oysters. The hardest part is getting them to leave by the end of it!”

A shucking good time on Oyster Farm Tours!

A post shared by Ben Catterall (@coffinbayoysterfarmtours) on


A builder by trade, Ben came to Coffin Bay about 15 years ago before opening the 1802 Oyster Bar in a bid to help promote tourism and the history of the town.

Ben – a “Matthew Flinders tragic” – named the restaurant after the year in which the renowned explorer chartered the coastline.

“When I was running the restaurant, I had so many people enquire about how they’re grown and how they end up on your plate,” he says.

“So I approached a guy with an oyster lease out the front of the restaurant, and we’ve been doing the tours for about two-and-a-half years.”

Although Ben has since sold the 1802 Oyster Bar, he incorporates history of the area and story behind the naming of the town into his oyster tours.

The tours, also run by employee Tania, can be enjoyed with wine, extra oysters and seafood platters.

Ben says the experience is offered year-round as seniors often travel to the Eyre Peninsula during the off-peak season in winter.

“We encourage people to stay locally, we have great deals with holiday rentals,” he says.

“Easter is coming up and it will be crazier than Christmas.”

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