The Good Life
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Sustainable thinking in the family business
‘We truly want the world our two kids to grow up in to be one where not only our people, but our industry has a positive impact on the planet rather than simply taking its resources’ Will Brook of Brookfarm, pictured with wife Jess and their two children. Photo Demetre Minchev.
Will Brook has grown up in the family firm, Brookfarm, founded by his parents Pam and Martin Brook. He is now the operations manager of a business that exports around the world, as well as raising a young family, and The Echo caught up with him to ask him how it’s going. Your wife Jessica runs a business, Ark and Eve, concentrating on organic, vegetabledyed clothing. Do her values complement your own? We certainly share the same values especially
Golden memories By Julie Ray
As I walk through the doors of Naomi Paled’s Golden Doughnut shop in Byron Bay the waft of cinnamon jolts a fond childhood memory of shopping with my mum. After being dragged through the local shopping centre mum would treat me to a warm sugary cinnamon doughnut. I was mesmerised by the automated doughnut-making gizmo that plopped out perfectly shaped round-holey doughnuts. I fell in love with the smell of cinnamon sugar and fresh-fried dough. There is no gizmo doughnut machine at Nao-
in terms of ethics and environmental sustainability. Jess and I own Ark and Eve, but Jess really is the brains and creative genius behind it all. Ark and Eve is a children’s clothing label; everything is designed by Jess and built on a core value of sustainability. All the clothing is made from natural fabrics that are plant dyed. It’s beautiful clothing that is made to last and meant to be cherished. We truly want the world our two kids grow up in to be one where not only our people but our industry has a positive impact on the planet rather than simply taking its resources.
I seem to recall that Brookfarm send almost all of their organic waste like shells to be used as mulch? Brookfarm tries to implement a circular approach to all aspects of our business; this is evident in how we treat all of our waste streams. On our farm, all of our macadamia husk is reused underneath our trees; it makes a fantastic mulch. The same concept continues at our Bakehouse: any food waste goes to the local Brooklet Springs farm to feed their pigs and chickens; by doing this we reduce our organic food waste to almost zero. We are continuing to research and implement waste reduction and elimination to reach our goal of zero waste. Do you bale and package other recyclables to make it cheaper to recycle these? As part of our sustainability program we bale recyclable plastics, and all of our cardboard. By baling our recyclables we are able to significantly reduce food miles by reducing our recycled waste pickups from five per week to only one. You use solar power for which you won the ‘best of the best’ in the 2015 Premier’s Awards for environmental excellence. You’d feel a sense of achievement from that, but what is the enduring feeling? We were incredibly proud and humbled to receive the Premier’s Award for sustainability, it really reflected the hard work and great ideas that have been maintained in our business. My goal is that others look at and use Brookfarm as an example for how to
conduct their own businesses. The same goes for the farm. We may not be the largest company around but we hope to be the working example and proof that you can be successful while being high quality and environmentally sustainable. Do you have any ‘business tips’ that you would like to see adopted more widely in the local food-producing industry? It’s a burgeoning industry – where would you like the industry try to develop? I would like all businesses (particularly food businesses) to look at their entire system through the lens of sustainability. This would encourage lean processes that would reduce waste, create efficiency, improve quality, and generally improve the running of the business. The best way to find out how to do this is through collaboration. I’m a firm believer in collaboration and sharing ideas among peers, and between businesses. We do this currently through the Northern Rivers Food group and we find it incredibly beneficial. Do you think that you can expand your business within the Byron Shire? We are currently operating over five different sites within the Byron Shire, and it makes sense for us to consolidate our operations. We use a lot of local suppliers wherever possible, and employ local people and we would like to keep our business within the Shire. At the moment we are looking at all our options and nothing is set in stone.
age to get through all the flavours and still want more, there are specials each week like the cappuccino or mango vanilla cream. Golden Doughnut is situated nextdoor to The Nail Bar that Naomi also runs. So what do pedicures or manicures and doughnuts have in common? ‘When the shop became vacant nextdoor I thought doughnuts would be something different to serve up in Byron,’ Naomi said. ‘We must be the only Nail Bar in the world where you can order a doughnut and a chai latte and enjoy it while being pampered. Customers love it; it adds to the luxury.’ This is not Naomi’s first dabble with tantalizing sweets; she has been serving up pastries at festivals for the past 12 years with Uprising Bakery. ‘I love doughnuts and they have become so popular recently, and it’s great to see people’s faces light up when they walk through the door,’ said Naomi. The Golden Doughnut: 3a/1 Byron St, Byron Bay The aptly Personal.The The way way travel should Personal. shouldbe be named ‘Oompa Loompa’ and below, Naomi Hi, I’m I’m Kathryn, Kathryn and your Hi, yourI’m local Paled. local personal manager personal traveltravel manager in in Bangalow & the the Byron Byron Shire. Bangalow and Shire.
mi’s shop because her doughnuts are made by hand, inspired by her Israeli grandmother. ‘In Israel doughnuts are very popular. Every grandmother would make them with cinnamon and jam in the middle; there was never any icing on top, the flavour was always on the inside,’ explained Naomi. Naomi’s doughnuts are rounded (no holes) puffed, golden, light and fluffy just as she remembers. They are made with organic flour and as much local produce as she can obtain. Be prepared to have difficulty deciding which one to eat, if you can stop at one. There are so many flavours to choose from like cinnamon, Ferrero Rocher, salted caramel, dark chocolate, berry jam and the mouth-watering hot-chocolate-filled doughnut topped with vanilla ice-cream, as well as a vegan doughnut. If you have trouble choosing, like this Libran, grab the mini Oompa Loompa; it’s four different fillings pumped into mini doughnuts. If you man-
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Your personal travel manager M: 0412 647 204 E: firstname.lastname@example.org travelmanagers.com.au/KathrynWatson Part of the House of Travel Group ACN: 113 085 626 Member: IATA, AFTA, CLIA
20 July 18, 2018 The Byron Shire Echo
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