The Sunshine Coast has become a hub for foodies, and for good reason. The shimmering coastline and rolling green pastures of the hinterland are abundant with fresh produce that finds its way from the ocean and paddocks, to our plates. Here we pay homage to some of the region’s best.
Embark on a gourmet journey with us as we visit the Sunshine Coast’s hottest food havens.
Kawana Waters Artisans & Farmers Markets
Kawana State College, Sportsmans Parade, Bokarina
One of our favourite offerings, this weekly market takes over the school grounds with aromatic fresh baking, vibrant fruit and vegetables, locally-sourced honey, organic eggs and some of the most delicious breakfasts around. Tip: Find the Ten Acres stall and snag some handcrafted sourdough bread made from organic and Australian flour. You’ll thank us.
133 Laxton Road, Palmview
Grab a basket and hit the fields to pick some of the freshest strawberries in the region. This Sunshine Coast farm gives you the opportunity to pick your own strawberries from the fields. The farm has been run by the Carmichael family since 1980 and is open all year. While you are there, indulge in a decadent treat in the cafe. We recommend the pancakes! Visit strawberryfields.com.au.
70 McCarthy Road, Maleny
Maleny Dairies is a family-owned business that supplies farm-fresh milk, custard, yoghurt and cream to thousands of Sunshine Coast families. The dairy is open to the public. Cuddle up to farm animals or join a tour and learn how cows are milked and the product is bottled. Visit malenydairies.com.
Hinterland Feijoas Organic
131 Browns Road, Belli Park
Open Saturdays, 9am-3pm
This unusual sub-tropical fruit originates from South America and has become the lifeblood of this Belli Park farm. Known for its creamy sweet jelly centres, the feijoa shines in food recipes, skincare and as a luxury tea. Hinterland Feijoas has a farm shop, artisan gallery and retro coffee van selling organic coffee, cakes and light lunches. Visit hinterlandfeijoas.com.au.
The Long Apron
68 Balmoral Road, Montville
8am until late
This chef-hatted restaurant has made Spicers Clovelly Estate a destination for foodies. From breakfast on the sun-drenched terrace to a degustation in the dining room, The Long Apron offers a unique taste of modern Europe right here at home. The ingredients are sourced on the property and from the surrounding local area. Visit spicersretreats.com/restaurants/the-long-apron/
Create your own food trail by visiting seqfoodtrails.com.au/sunshine-coast.
3 LOCAL FINDS
IGA Marketplace Wises Road is home to a range of local fresh and gourmet foods, including a great range of organic, paleo and preservative-free products. Tip: Grab yourself one of their special cheesecakes made with fresh Australian mangoes and Ashbern Farm strawberries.
Do yourself a favour and get your hands on some Hum Honey Cold Fusion. The product won the Best New Australian Made Award at the Fine Food Expo held in Melbourne. Competing against 400 other products, Cold Fusion was recognised as the most outstanding product to have launched in the food industry in the past 12 months. The cold infusion process allows for the introduction of flavours into the pure raw honey. Hum Honey’s range of flavours include lavender, lemon myrtle, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. Delicious! For a full list of stockists, visit humhoney.com.au.
Who doesn’t love a side of sauce, chutney or salsa with their meal? Cedar Creek Farm Bushfoods uses locally-grown ingredients and incorporates native Australian fruits, herbs and spices to create a tantalising selection. You can purchase their products at The Original Eumundi Markets.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Emma Greenhatch knows a thing or two about food. As the general manager of the Sunshine Coast’s thriving and innovative Food & Agribusiness Network (FAN), Ms Greenhatch is immersed in the industry.
“Most of us have an emotional connection to food and it’s a key part of the social fabric of our lives,’’ she says.
“There are a growing number of consumers that today want to purchase food that aligns to their values, such as health, convenience and how it’s produced.
“This is driving a desire to connect with where our food comes from and the human stories behind those who work so hard to bring us food, everyday, 365 days a year.”
Ms Greenhatch says the food and agribusiness is a key growth industry for the Sunshine Coast region – and the figures back that up.
“Valued at $700 million in 2018, with support from FAN and other stakeholders including Sunshine Coast Council, it is anticipated the industry will be valued at $1 billion by 2021,” she says.
“Not only does it directly employ more than 3000 people, indirectly some 10,000 jobs can be attributed to the food and agribusiness industry.
“It’s so important to support local.
“It means our industry will grow, employ more locals and our food is freshest and doesn’t have to travel thousands of kilometres before it’s on our plates.”
Here are Emma’s tips on how to support the local industry.
1. Buy local. There’s an amazing array of produce and products in this region that you can buy at farmers markets and retailers across the Coast.
2. Tell your family and friends far and wide about the incredible food that comes from this region.
3. If there’s a local product you love and can’t buy it near you, ask them to stock it.
4. Follow your favourite food producers on social media and share, share share.
5. Support restaurants that support local.
Cut them up, don’t cut them out
Consumers are banding together to support strawberry farmers, with reports sales have bounced back following the fruit contamination scare.
The industry took a beating this month when needles found in strawberries caused widespread panic. Farmers were forced to dump tonnes of strawberries as supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles removed the fruit from their shelves.
Police have revealed more than 100 reports of contaminated fruit had been made around the country. Farmers and consumers alike have taken the issue in their stride, launching major #smashastrawb and #noneedleshere campaigns.
Meanwhile, the Australian Government last week announced that “food terrorists” would be met with harsher penalties – up to 10 to 15 years behind bars.
AAP reported that the government passed draft laws last Thursday in under four hours after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a crackdown on people sticking needles in strawberries.
How you can help
• Photograph your strawberries and share on social media.
• Green Zebra Restaurant has added three strawberry cocktails to the menu – mojito, daiquiri and bellinis. Two dollars from each sold will be donated to help local farmers.
• Chop them up and freeze them.
• Get the family in the kitchen and do a cook up of strawberry cakes, jam and tarts.
• Chop them up and make a smoothie.
• Visit a local strawberry farm.