Not Retired! Helen And Barry’s Capers

Retired?  Not Helen and Barry!  Starting over 12 years ago, this enterprising couple starting growing capers. These days their capers are sought after by some of Australia’s famous chefs.

How did it all start?
We were looking for something we could do on our 10 acre scrub block with little water etc and to bring in some income after retirement

Why grow capers?
Little water, high value on small area, we can value add, no threat of oversupply, quality will enable competition with o/seas cheap imports.

Is it still a ‘hobby’ now?
No, we do really work at it, and enjoy OUR business

Where (and how) do you sell your capers?
Farmers Markets, web orders, direct to chefs, 13 retail outlets around SAustralia.

How many products do you have?
6 different caper products with a few size and packaging variations as well.

What are some of the things that you have had to learn?
Patience, it doesn’t happen fast, to work together and play to each others strengths, never let an opportunity go by and get out there, promotion will sell.

Anything that you have had to ‘unlearn’?
Not much, our skills seemed to all be in demand sooner or later.

What are some of the challenges?
Working together, getting up early to pick, learning to handle staff (WOOFERS: Willing Workers On Organic Farms), not worrying if an experimental product doesn’t work.

And the good parts of your business?
The people we meet and the new experiences. We’ve eaten in great restaurants, met some fantastic foodies etc. And we’ve been invited to NOOSA FINE FOOD.

What are your thoughts about retirement?
I’ve never thought of retirement as stopping work, just doing something different with a bit more time for non work things, e.g. fishing

Read more here

 

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