Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
My name is Ester Wimborne the dairygoodness from Country Valley Dairy on Twitter. My husband David Wimborne comes from a long line of dairy farmers from Bega, his great great grandpa set up Jellat Jellat cheese factory in Bega with the tradition continuing and David’s granpa Daniel Gowing set-up the Bega Cheese co-op. To this day his Uncles and his Cousins still have dairy farms and are part of Bega co-op. David’s family moved to Sydney. I was born in Europe and immigrated to Australia we have 2 beaut boys and one cute granddaughter. David joined up with John Fairly from Country Valley Dairy in Picton which is only 100 kms from Sydney. David is one of John distributors and set up Fresh Foods/Country Valley Dairy Stalls. I love good dairy products so I help the team with marketing and by running the Sydney Country Valley market stalls. We provide a boutique range of milk both organic and non-organic, yoghurt, organic cheeses, buttermilk, cream, and other dairy products. All made with love and care.
Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own business?
By being your own bosses we control what we do and how we present ourselves. Country Valley Dairy is not part of any co-op. It is family owned, the cows roam free on the property at Picton, they are milked and the milk is produced on-site in the plant. The dairy products are then sent out to local shops and to Sydney via distributors and direct to the farmers markets by John & David. I personally love telling people about the real milk that is made and how proud we all are of Country Valley Dairy. I’m also addicted to the Champion RAS medal winner Lush yoghurt which has no additives. Now many of my customers feel the same. The range of milks made have also won many awards and medals and the Champion Organic Milk is one of my favourites. All the milk is pure with no additives and especially no permeate.
Country Valley Farm
Where do you get your inspiration from when you create and produce your product?
My daily inspiration comes from my family, especially my husband David who always inspires me to achieve goals and support any new ideas I have. We are a team and Country Valley operate as “team Country Valley” as well, with John & Sally Fairley leading a terrific team of staff, colleagues & distributors. The dairy business is not easy but Country Valley Dairy have worked hard to make ethical products that taste devine.
What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Positive, Talker, Can Do Person, Caring, Listener
Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
I started off working with hospitals and still work part-time late shifts to pay the bills. Then I got involved with the dairy business
John & Ellen Faily
Describe a typical day in your work?
No day is really typical for me. Monday’s is Picton to Sydney to deliver milk orders; I love the dairy farm and pretty countryside of Picton. On Tuesdays I generally do a lot of paperwork and pay the bills. On Wednesday I work out the plan for the weekend ahead and start the market forecasts. The dairy needs to have the market orders in by Wednesday morning as fresh milk & yoghurt has to be made not only for the markets but all the other customers. Dairy products are made every day so they reach customers with a long use by date. On Thursdays I visit Pierre at the Peppe Saya Butter factory (he uses Country Valley milk & cream to make hand cultured butter & desserts) in St. Peters and we go through the order requirements for weekend markets. Fridays we pick up all the lovely dairy products from Picton and get ready for markets on the weekends. I personally work at Eveleigh Market which is at Carriage Works on Saturdays from 8amto 1pm and generally get up at 4.30am to get ready for market day. When do I get a day off I’m often asked, Sunday afternoon. I also fit in some hospital shift work late evening so my day is never typical.
As business owner, what is your biggest frustration?
The biggest frustration for David & myself is the large amount of government and local authority paperwork the goes with running your own business. There is a lot of Food Authority compliance work, gst taxes, super, staff wages, orders, invoices, van repairs, Country Valley Dairy also has a huge amount of paperwork to comply.
Tell us about how you prioritise your work.
I’m generally a “go with the flow” type of person, if situations arise I deal with it and move on. I start with a good cup of coffee after breakfast and make a list of what has to be done then try and stick with it, but sometimes this is not possible. I also have a family and their needs have to be met as well. I put reminders in my notebook and around me.
Full Cream milk
Tell us about how do you connect with your customers (i.e. how do you network)?
I connect with my customers by personally running Eveleigh Market stall myself and delegate staff to our other market stalls. I also started on Twitter about a year ago and like to tweet about our dairy products and follow foodies, they seem to like to follow me too. We participate in foot events and are members of the local Chamber of Commerce. Its good to get out and meet other small business owners and hear their ideas. I have been asked to join Linked In and Facebook but don’t have time for them. John Fairly is on Facebook for Country Valley. I also use a data base to keep in contact with customers and send out a newsletter from time to time.
What advice can you offer other new business owners who are just starting out and following their passions?
Research what sort of business you want to do and your competitors. Start off by making a business plan 3yr, 5yr, 10yrs, 15yrs and so on. Get a good accountant and financial advisor to help you. The set your financial and personal goals and GO FOR IT! Surround yourself with positive people. Don’t take NO for an answer, Tom Hopkins once said for every 9 NO’s there is a 10th YES.
What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
I would like to retire in 6-10 years time and open ascuba dive resort in Northern Queensland, David & I love diving. Will it be possible, maybe, anything is possible if you really want it.
What is your proudest moment so far?
The birth of my two sons, who are very dear to me is two of the most proudest moments in my life. I think most Mothers would say that. Another highlight was graduating from Uni, meeting my darling Hubby.
Who do you most want to meet and why?
That’s a hard one. I’ve met so many people from all walks of life. I have always wondered what it would be like to meet the Pope as I find the history of the Vatican interesting. But I’m not a Catholic.
What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
No one or anything can bring you happiness, you have to make it yourself in life and happiness comes from within. Plus smile each day be happy you never know how long you have to live on his earth.
What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
I don’t get time to read a lot. I am half way through John Grisham – Theodore Boone Half the Man, Twice the Lawyer. It’s light reading but intriguing and suspenseful.
There are way too many books to recommend. Dale Carn egie’s book is one I feel people can read and be inspired from.
Where do we find you and your products? (list stores & links, websites )
Country Valley Dairy Products are available at local outlets and stockist by checking their website: www.countryvalley.com.au
Check where from Stockists Markets:
Eveleigh Markets at Carriage Work in Redfern every Saturday – I’m there myself
Warwick Farm Farmers’ Markets every Saturday
Camden Showground Farmers Market fortnightly Saturday
Kings Cross Organics Food Market every Saturday at Potts Point
Marrickville Organics Markets at Addison Rd every Sunday
Capital Region Markets in Canberra every Saturday
Southside Farmers’ Markets at Woden CIT Campus Canberra every Sunday
Do you have a Special offer to ArtSHINE
Any customer that comes to the market will get 20% off Highland Organics cheese packs. First time customers a free bottle of our real milk
Follow me on Twitter @dairygoodness
You can’t miss the cow with hot lips – I know how to laugh at myself