TILBA REAL DAIRY
In the year 2000, when GST had just been introduced and farms weren’t selling, Erica Dibden and her husband Nic decided to take a chance and buy a property in the Tilba Valley.
The couple worked hard improving the soil structure and infrastructure on the farm, and in 2012 decided to start bottling their own milk and making their own cheese. They bought the ABC Cheese Factory in Central Tilba, and now produce a range of award winning dairy products, including full cream milk, cheese, yoghurt and cream.
Tilba Real Dairy supplies to tourists and wholesalers, and to a range of businesses in the region. Erica says Canberra is an integral part of the business because it’s so accessible; they regularly travel to Canberra for the Farmers Market and sell product to Canberra locals who holiday in the area.
Erica and her husband are passionate about supporting the region, employing 20 local staff members and investing money locally wherever possible. She believes that the conditions in Tilba are ideal for starting a food business. “The region is pristine. We have pure water, pure air, and beautiful soil. There are many benefits to tap into in this area. We also have Sydney and Canberra, and a growing population.”
Erica says they feel very lucky to live in Tilba. “It’s stunning. And yes, it is hard work. But we don’t have neighbours in our pocket, we have beautiful rolling green hills, animals, the kids can ride their motorbikes, and I’ve got a massive vegie garden. There are so many positives to living on a farm!”
Bay Removals is located in the Moruya Industrial Estate in Moruya on the NSW South Coast. For almost 40 years, the family business has provided local, interstate and international furniture removal, and onsite storage.
Originally based on the family’s farm between Moruya and Mogo, Jo Piggott says her parents decided to move to the Industrial Estate in 2015 to allow for Bay Removals’ continued growth. Storage is a significant part of the business, with the family’s collection of shipping containers increasing from one to 130 in just over a decade. They also have a large range of trucks, and Jo’s brother drives a B-Triple road train to Western Australia every six weeks.
Jo says the majority of their removals are retirees relocating from Sydney to the South Coast. She believes the business is perfectly located in Moruya, because it has a great connection with both Sydney and Canberra and the large quantity of people moving to the area or staying in holiday houses.
Of living near the beaches and the bush, Jo says her family absolutely love it. Her in-laws recently moved to the coast from Canberra, which has provided the family with additional support, and she says the kids love the local primary school. “It has lots to offer, and it’s literally a beautiful place to live. Definitely a great place to bring your kids up. And it’s quiet…no one is in a rush.”
JJ’S AT THE MARINA
The eldest son of nine children, Jacob Crook was born and bred in Batemans Bay. Following high school, he began an apprenticeship in a café in the local area, before moving to Canberra to further his experience.
In Canberra, Jacob worked for a number of restaurants until receiving his qualification, then moved back to the Bay where he met his wife Jess and had a son.
Over time, the couple realised the strength of the local tourism market and the demand for high quality seafood restaurants, takeaways and fish mongers. So in 2015, Jacob, Jess, and a couple of Jacob’s siblings came together, and are now the proud owners of JJs at the Marina, JJs at the Moorings, JJs Southern Catch and JJs Southern Catch Takeaway.
Each location offers fresh local seafood and produce and employs local staff. Jacob says they get a lot of support from Canberra customers who travel to Batemans Bay on weekends and during holidays, and contribute significantly to the local tourism economy.
He says that anyone contemplating a business in the Eurobodalla region should go for it, particularly if it’s tourism-based. “There’s so much untapped potential in this area, and opportunity for businesses. Take advantage of the cheap house prices, the really good schools, and the opportunity to build something from scratch.”
Of living and working in Batemans Bay, Jacob says “The lifestyle of Batemans Bay is relaxed, easy-going, and beautiful. It’s serene. It’s untouched. And a wonderful place for kids to grow up.”