Bruny Island Cheese and Beer Co | Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations 2020
Making and selling cheese using the same methods employed 100 years ago may not immediately be regarded as innovative, especially in an era where mass market supply via broad distribution is the end goal for many growers, producers and manufacturers.
For Nick Haddow at Bruny Island Cheese, food is a product of place and time and should intrinsically connect the consumer to its point of origin. That makes fostering a direct relationship with customers a far more interesting proposition to Nick than conquering international markets... but it’s also a little easier said than done when the point of origin is an island off south-eastern Tasmania, population 600.
Nick travelled and trained throughout the great cheese-producing regions of France, Italy, Spain, the US and the UK. While inspired by these regions, his dream was to make cheeses with a distinctly Tasmanian character using traditional techniques and to sell directly to the end consumer.
While the farm accounts for some of the operation’s direct sales, customers who had travelled from other regions wanted access to Bruny Island Cheeses once they’d returned home. Traditional distribution methods couldn’t meet Nick’s aim of connecting directly with the customer... but setting up an online cheese club could.
The 30,000 Bruny Island Cheese Club members receive eight offers each year comprising a selection of seasonal cheeses, including at least one exclusively made and matured for club members only. Orders are supplied with information sheets that detail not only how each was made, but how best to store and enjoy.
The Cheese Club is a true community with members regularly involved on the farm, in cheese production and helping out at the brewery. Calls to arms, including a campaign to help the Kangaroo Island community post-bushfires, receive fantastic response. Bruny Island Cheese holds community events around Australia for club members and uses extensive videography to tell the story online.