The little honey company that could
You’re going to want to get a jar of this stuff – or if you can’t a packet of Kettle chips…
Stradbroke Island Organic Honey, a family run production since the 1980s, is well known on the island for its distinct flavour and healing properties. Whether it’s the popular table honey or the medicinal honey, most Straddie locals and visitors alike have a jar in their cupboard.
It was only a matter of time before the rest of the country caught on.
The big wigs have come knocking; Stradbroke Island Organic Honey has recently gained the attention of Kettle chips. It’s now being featured in their popular Honey Soy Chicken Chips and their name is being splashed across buses and billboards around the country.
However, the partnership hasn’t been through tireless marketing efforts from Stradbroke Island Organic Honey. Phillip Bowman, who runs the venture with his wife Theresa, 80-year-old father Charlie and mother Thelma, says it’s all thanks to the delicious honey.
“It’s the honey that sells itself,” says Phillip.
“It was news to us that Kettle were using our product, they came across it through a small business we supply to.”
Mr Bowman likes to keep it local and rarely provides honey to mainland companies, only if they have excess after supplying the island. “We make it a priority to sell to local Straddie businesses, they help us and we like to help them.”
But it seems the honey is so good that it couldn’t stay a Straddie secret for long with the company that owns Kettle chips, Snackfoods Australia, so impressed with the product that they’re marketing the chips ‘featuring Straddie honey’ across the nation.
“Consumers are increasingly interested in where their food comes from and what they are eating,” Said Mark Fryday, Marketing Director of Snackbrands Australia.
“It just seemed the perfect fit for our brand.
“The honey really enhances the flavour of our popular honey soy chicken chips and it’s great to be promoting small Australian businesses, given Snackbrands is a 100 per cent Australian owned family business.”
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for the Bowman family’s honey though. They lost almost 75 per cent of their bees in the devastating Straddie bushfires last summer. This had a huge impact on the business, as has the current drought. Almost a year on from the fires, they are now finally seeing the Straddie flora slowly come back to life and their stocks replenish.
The Bowman’s have hives across the island including sites near Blue Lake, The Overflow, The Keyholes and Eighteen Mile Swamp. The bees use the pollen from a mix of Straddie’s flora found at these locations, this is what gives the honey its distinct flavour.
It’s a labour of love for Phillip, with the help of his wife and parents.
“I class it as a hobby, it’s something I love to do,” says Phillip.
What’s next, Straddie Island Organic Honey taking over the world?
“I get international requests, but I tell them no,” he said.
“I want to keep it local, it’s exciting having it recognised nationally but that’s as far as it will go.
“It’s made on the island for the people of the island to enjoy.”
Stradbroke Island Organic Honey can be found at outlets in Point Lookout, Amity and Dunwich and select shops in Brisbane.