This was an inspirational morning!
We first met Naomi Ingleton at the St Kilda Farmers' Market, and she invited us to watch the 'butter churn' which she did each Thursday at the Butter Factory in Myrtleford. With us watching through the plate-glass window, Naomi and her biologist set up the churn, checking temps and adding 'bugs' when appropriate. Then she came out and gave us freely of her time.
In 2007 Naomi and her mother Bronwyn, set up a cafe in the Old Butter Factory, which had been built in 1930 but which ceased churning its own butter in 1966. With a young family and wanting more, Naomi plunged into producing butter in the middle of 2010. Bronwyn had mortgaged her house to enable the refit and gear-up.
The factory building (both cafe and factory floor) is leased from the owners, a local Myrtleford couple. The company now employs 15 local people, mostly women, and across the age spectrum. It really was a hive of activity.
Naomi has had a remarkable professional life which is obvious from reading her website. She traipses around the countryside to Farmers' Markets and restaurants. She produces the butter. She helps in the cafe and with the accounts. And she has a babe in arms!
When I checked with my local Thomas Dux in Paddington, they do not stock butter from Myrtleford. They do not stock much butter at all, in comparison with margarine. Yuk! I will chat with Grant, the manager.