Barossa Fine Foods rolls out big plans for 2018

Smallgoods producer Barossa Fine Foods is facing big changes in 2018, taking on another renowned SA business, undergoing a packaging rebrand and celebrating its 100-year-old family history.

Barossa Fine Foods, which has a long-standing retail presence across SA, announced today it has acquired 58-year-old seafood brand Angelakis Bros.

The company says it has acquired an agreement with Angelakis, officially taking over on May 4 and continuing with no disruptions.

The announcement comes a week after Barossa Fine Foods revealed plans to overhaul its branding and packaging to celebrate the Knoll family history and prepare the name for “rapid national expansion”.

Fourth generation family member and Barossa Fine Foods development manager, Alex Knoll, says the company is looking to have a larger presence in the eastern states.

“We’re approaching 100 years since my great uncle, Andreas Knoll, first ventured into the area of smallgoods and started a dynasty that, through various iterations both in Germany and SA, is now Barossa Fine Foods,” he says.

“With this milestone looming – and with us looking to gain a stronger foothold in the eastern seaboard states of NSW, QLD and VIC – we thought it timely to refresh our branding, and at the same time, have a bit of fun by sharing our history in a series of light-hearted back stories featured on our packaged goods.”

The company says the rebranding will also drive a large push into the burgeoning markets of Asia, while stimulating the local economy, creating new jobs and offering current workers greater opportunities.

It is understood the new packaging will hit the shelves from May.

The new packaging will be on shelves in May.

It will have a “consistent look and feel” across its 100g sliced range of more than 20 products, its 300g cooked sausages, 500g fresh sausages, pâté, kabana and ambient products.

Alex says that while the family prides itself on being progressive, innovative and forward-thinking, upholding tradition was paramount.

“So, while the brand identity has evolved to more accurately reflect a thriving 21st Century business with strong family traditions, we remain true to our high-quality award-winning products and artisan production standards as well as sourcing as many local ingredients as we can,” he says.

Barossa Fine Foods’ origins date back to post WW1 Germany when 15-year-old apprentice Andreas Knoll mixed his first leberwurst at a small goods factory in Munich in 1924.

The Barossa Fine Foods family.

The brand we know today was born in the early 1990s when third-generation Franz and Barbra Knoll purchased an existing business of the same name in the Adelaide Central Market.

Barossa Fine Foods currently employs 250 people across nine retail outlets throughout the state and in Victoria and has almost 300 stockists nationwide.

With its factory based at Edinburgh North, the company has some 600 products from hams, bacon, sausages and other Bavarian treats.

Barossa Fine Foods also runs Standom Smallgoods and Schulz Butchers at Angaston.

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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Boost in business for disability housing provider SACARE

SACARE, a family-owned business providing housing and services for people with a disability, has increased its workforce by 30% in 12 months and increased turnover by $7.5m in the past two-and-a-half years.

The business’s general manager of client relations and service delivery, Chloe Kempe, says business will only continue to grow as the state benefits from the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) into 2018.

“It will continue to grow like that over coming years, particularly with the NDIS and the need for more support workers,” she says.

“We’re currently sitting at 411 employees across a mix of casual, full-time and part-time roles.”

“We’re currently holding recruitment days every fortnight when we’re interviewing up to 25 individuals for positions, and that’s support workers alone.”

SACARE has 411 employees, but this number is expected to increase as the business expands and the NDIS continues to roll out.

The $22 billion NDIS supports Australians with disabilities aged under 65 by giving them greater control over how their support funding is spent.

Participants receive a tailored funding package to help them complete everyday living activities and reach long-term goals.

Once fully implemented in SA from July 1, 2018, the NDIS will benefit more than 32,000 people with disabilities.

SACARE is one of many local businesses gearing up for the major social reform, which Chloe says will create much greater competition among a growing number of service providers.

She says it’s therefore important for the industry to maintain exceptional workforce and service delivery standards.

“The NDIS is really positive for the industry and it’s a great opportunity for us, but it creates a lot more competition because people see the financial benefit of entering the (disability) industry,” Chloe says.

“It’s a really good opportunity to define the services we’re good at and ensure that we maintain those services.

“We’ve opened up to a whole new marketplace, but the biggest challenge will be finding those remaining support workers who really share our values and expectations of service. I’m confident we can do that.”

SACARE is a long-standing SA family business helping people with disabilities to live independently.

SACARE was established in 1991 by Chloe’s parents, Sue and Andrew Marshall.

Both with a background in health, disability and mental health, the pair longed for vulnerable people to have improved services and higher quality care.

Their two other children, Lachie and Alex, are also involved in the business which has supported independent living options in North Adelaide, Hope Valley, Prospect, Magill and Kingswood.

Both the Magill and Kingswood homes are recent additions which Chloe says have attributed to workforce and revenue growth in the past year.

The Kingswood home is one of SACARE’s newest supported independent living facilities.

Earlier in 2018, SACARE began building its latest facility, The Gums, at Salisbury in Adelaide’s north.

It’s the business’s first entry into the rehabilitation space and will support people with spinal cord and brain injuries, helping them transition more easily back into their own homes or permanent SACARE housing.

It’s due for completion by November this year and is expected to create up to 155 ongoing jobs.

Chloe says SACARE’s clients are typically aged under 65 and have physical, neurological or intellectual disabilities or mental health issues.

She says that while the organisation doesn’t specialise in aged care, it doesn’t discriminate against age and continues to support clients as they age past 65.

She says the business also strives to keep younger people with disabilities out of nursing homes.

Many young Australians with disabilities and complex support needs are forced to live in aged care homes because they’re unable to find suitable accommodation.

The Barton House in North Adelaide is SACARE’s original facility, with a professional team supporting residents 24/7.

Chloe has been in her current role for 12 years after a career in public relations, marketing and event management within hotels.

She says job opportunities in the disability sector are diverse.

“I think that disability has always been a confronting sector … and people see it as doing those personal care duties like taking people to the toilet or showering them,” Chloe says.

“But it’s so much more than that. There are digital marketing positions, executive positions, diversional therapy positions, you have genuine career opportunities.

“It’s exciting to see young individuals embracing it.”

The rollout of the NDIS is expected to almost double SA’s disability sector workforce by 2019.

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.

Bird’s-eye view is a day in the office for SA’s only female chief pilot

From barely-trodden tracks to hidden beaches and rugged coastlines,  South Australia’s only female chief pilot Felicity Brown experiences breathtaking views every day.

But ask the co-owner of Ceduna travel agency and air charter business Chinta Air about her favourite place in SA and there is only one.

“My favourite spot is in the pilot seat,” Felicity says.

“I’m not a good passenger, I don’t have a favourite aircraft to fly, I don’t have a favourite job to do, I just like to be in the left-hand seat and flying.”

Chinta Air chief pilot Felicity Brown.

Felicity and her husband Noel Schwarz run Chinta Air from Ceduna on the west coast of SA.

They launched the business with one aircraft in 2003 after discovering a love for flying.

Now the business is licensed to operate seven aircraft from three full-time bases and two part-time bases across the state, and has recently expanded onto Kangaroo Island.

The establishment of a base on KI marked the first time in a decade that scenic flights have been available on the island.

Aside from its headquarters in Ceduna, Chinta Air has a base at Rawnsley Park Station in the Flinders Ranges, at the Parafield Airport in Adelaide and, during the winter months, the Nullabor Roadhouse on the state’s far west coast.


Chinta Air’s scenic flights allow passengers to ‘sightsee’ from the air, whereas charter flights take passengers from A to B.

“During the winter our base at Nullabor operates scenic flights over the Great Australian Bight Marine Park, where the southern right whales gather to give birth, socialise and breed,” Felicity says.

“In 2017 there were 182 whales including 81 calves there – it’s the most significant nursery for southern right whales in the world.”

Felicity describes the charter flight service as the “Uber of the air”.

It allows passengers to access remote communities and regions that are otherwise only accessible by vehicle.

Chinta Air also undertakes survey work, aerial photography and tailored air safaris, which include trips than can span across days or weeks into different states and locations.

Felicity is originally from country Western Australia and met Noel, a wheat and sheep farmer from the Eyre Peninsula, in the ’90s.

She was still working and living in WA at the time, and first thought about flying when hearing about the Outback Air Race, a GPS-based navigational time trial across the Australian outback.

She had no knowledge of aviation and knew no one with a plane, but was stubborn and refused to live up to a suggestion that she couldn’t do it.

Thunderstorms over #laketorrens #flindersranges #outbacksa @southaustralia

A post shared by Chinta Air (@chintaair) on


As a single mother working part-time, she gained her pilot license and convinced two friends to fly with her in the race.

The trio decided to inject some fun into the flight by dressing in belly dancing costumes and naming themselves, The Delilah’s of the Desert.

“I can fly a plane but I can’t sew so my costume was superglued and stapled together,” Felicity says.

“We turned up at Alice Springs for the start of the air race and we walked into the room and looked around.

“Some of the guys had team names on their polo shirts and the really adventurous ones had it across their backs.

“And there we were in belly dancing costumes … I now know what a stunned silence is.

“We ended up finishing not quite last, but learnt a heap and fell in love with flying along the way.”


In 1999, Noel too learnt how to fly.

Chinta Air was born in Ceduna in 2003 and after a few years Felicity would gain qualifications to become SA’s only female chief pilot and one of five across Australia.

Every day in the air is different, she says.

“You can fly over the same piece of scenery every day for a week and every day there will be something different,” Felicity says.

“There’s always an opportunity to learn something new – learning to fly at night, upside down, low at 100ft above ground level, in cloud, and in different types of aircraft.

“It’s brilliant.”

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Theo’s theory on the success of SA’s spuds and onions

High-tech innovations and a two-fold business growth in 18 months.

It’s been a big past few years for Australia’s leading potato and onion packer, The Mitolo Group, and according to Theo Sasopoulos, it’s still all systems go in the world of spuds and onions.

Theo is the group finance manager for the longstanding family-owned company that built its fortunes on growing, harvesting and packing potatoes and onions.

An accountant by profession, Theo says he’s working in the best of both worlds – finance and food.

“The SA food industry is a key growth area for our economy, especially in the Northern Adelaide Plains (Virginia and surrounds) and traditional food bowl areas like the Riverland and Mallee,” he says.

“As our economy has moved away from traditional manufacturing businesses, food and agriculture along with many renewable (energy) type industries will be at the forefront of economic growth in the future.

“There is no better time to be involved in the food industry or with a business such as Mitolo.”

Shop at any of the supermarket giants for spuds and onions and chances are you’ll be buying Mitolo produce, grown on farms located across the Adelaide Plains, and Murray and Mallee.

Every year, 200,000 tonnes of washed and brushed potatoes and onions are graded and packed at Mitolo’s Virginia base and packing facilities in NSW.

Theo Sasopoulos is an I Choose SA for Food, Wine and Tourism ambassador.

The majority of produce is trucked within Australia to Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA supermarkets, greengrocers, and produce markets throughout the country.

Only 5% of produce (mostly onions) is exported to Europe and the Middle East.

Theo joined the Mitolo team almost six years ago after working at Adelaide consulting firm Deloitte for three years.

“I already had a relationship with The Mitolo Group as a client through my time at Deloitte,” he says.

“The variety and opportunities that come with working in a passionate family business is both inspiring and rewarding from a personal perspective.”

The Mitolo Group has come a long way since it was launched as Comit Farm Produce in 1989 by Bruno and Angela Mitolo.

Bruno immigrated to Australia with his parents at the age of 13, while Angela was born in Australia to immigrant parents.

The couple has three sons, Frank, John and Darren, who now run the business.

“When Bruno was in charge of the place, it was all about hard work and determination,” Theo says.

“Now with Frank it’s about building on that with professionalism and innovation.

“They (the three sons) have taken a good business with strong foundations and made it great.”

Some of The Mitolo Group’s latest successes include the acquisition of large vegetable supplier Oakville Produce, which went into receivership in mid-2016.

“We’ve doubled in size in the last year and a half – we now have 750 staff across our farming, packing and administration,” Theo says.

“From a production point of view we’ve doubled the amount of produce we dispatch throughout the country.

“Similarly, both costs and revenues have increased substantially.”

Also in 2016, The Mitolo Group invested $5m in near-infrared sorting technology to X-ray onions at a rate of more than 1000 per minute.

The X-ray process detects onions that are damaged or rotten on the inside.

Despite the successes, Theo says working in agribusiness comes with its challenges.

“There are so many variables that can change from one day to the next because the weather conditions have such a big impact on the quality and yield of potatoes and produce in general,” he says.

The father of two says he’s proud to be able to pursue his career within a prosperous industry while calling SA home.

“I am a born and bred South Aussie with a proud Greek heritage,” he says.

“This will always be home.”

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