Blushing Blueberries, one of the regular local producers at the Coffs Coast Growers Market, is celebrating winning a Silver Award for its Blueberry Shrub Cordial from the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards.
Owner Sandi Cleary has spent many years creating popular jams, chutneys, sauces and cordials with the organically certified fresh blueberries she grows on her property near Nambucca.
“This is fantastic news for Sandi whose stall has been a fixture of the Growers Market in Coffs’ city centre for several years,” said Stephen Saunders, Council’s Section Leader Industry and Destination Development.
“Over that time, Sandi has been able to perfect a lot of her produce by talking to her customers face-to-face at the market and getting useful direct feedback.
“The laidback market vibe is perfect for having a good chat with customers and finding out ways to improve products by listening to what people like and how they use them.”
Blueberry farming has been a second career for Sandi who completed her Diploma of Horticulture and Diploma of Organic Farming with TAFE at Coffs Harbour after a previous career as a management consultant. In November 2016 she won the Australian Institute of Horticulture’s Student of the Year Award.
“Sandi’s success also shows that it doesn’t matter where your food business is located, or how big it is, you can still compete with major suppliers – and win,” added Stephen.
“We’re hoping Sandi’s success will inspire other local producers to enter their produce in similar awards.
“It’s a fantastic way to showcase what the Coffs Coast has to offer.”