The sweet life at Sheffield

SUGAR AND SPICE: Rini and Chris Puccetti have found the life for them at Sheffield. Picture: Chris Puccetti
SUGAR AND SPICE: Rini and Chris Puccetti have found the life for them at Sheffield. Picture: Chris Puccetti

Looking from the counter of Fudge‘n’Good Coffee on the main road of Sheffield is the picturesque view of Mt Roland looming in the distance offering a view like no other.

Chris and Rini Puccetti are the owners of the small business that is gaining more and more acclaim.

Starting out their life together living in Adelaide then Italy, Chris and Rini Puccetti developed a taste for the nicer things in life; delicious Italian coffee and sweet creamy fudge.

Upon moving to Sheffield Chris and Rini were inspired to create Fudge’n’Good Coffee to share their passions with the townspeople and tourists.

With Sheffield being in the heart land of dairy production, Tasmania was the perfect place for them to call home for their creamy Fudge.

Chris: We were living in Tuscany, and our kids didn’t like school there so they decided to petition us to move back to Australia. My wife and I love the climate of Tasmania as we have been here on many holidays so we decided that Tasmania would be the final destination. We fell in love with Mt Roland and a beautiful property beneath it and that is how we ended up here.

When thinking of what to do in Tasmania, I thought I would open a gallery and Rini thought of making fudge and good Italian coffee, which turned out to be the money maker, like a gallery is nice but good Italian coffee is the drawcard.

When we bought the building we actually remembered we had been in the building before when we visited on a holiday as it was like a checker board floor, as it was all wrecked.

Rini: The floor was a variety floor.

UNDER ROLAND'S SHADOW: The Puccetti's Fudge'n'Good Coffee, in Sheffield's main street. Picture: Chris Puccetti

UNDER ROLAND'S SHADOW: The Puccetti's Fudge'n'Good Coffee, in Sheffield's main street. Picture: Chris Puccetti

Chris: We thought we would be seen as serpers coming in from the outside to open businesses but it was quite the opposite. Business weren’t opening very good hours and people were welcoming to us.

We are enjoying it, we get to see Mt Roland every single day standing behind the counter... it is an amazing place. Sheffield.

Mural fest is a huge part of the town there is a committee that works on the murals of the town. They don’t get paid. Last year I was lucky enough to be a judge, experiencing behind the scenes, it is actually really huge and a lot of work goes into it.

I think it is one of the things that has put Sheffield on the map. I think large committees of local people working unpaid to make sure the murals are restored and kept as a growing legacy is fantastic.

When in Italy, Rini as a self-declared foodie and in love with all things dessert fell in love with Italian fudge and coffee.

Rini: When we came here fudge is the obvious choice for me. As you know Tasmania has amazing dairy.

We feel as if we have been here for longer than we have, five years now.

Everyone knows us we know everybody, it is like a big family. It is not something we were used to before, everyone cares about you and what you do, it is the first time really that we have been part of this type of a community, we just love it, we can’t see ourselves leaving it is like we are just locals.

I see Sheffield over the next few years as really positive and growing a lot, there is certainly an increased number of visitors coming every year. We have noticed with our own business it is growing in leaps and bounds every year and a lot more international tourists.

For a country town it is just an amazing and exciting place.

Chris: Part of Sheffield’s charm is that it is a 1950s town in the 2000s.

It is a quirky town because there is a lot of quirky people in the town, they revel in that, and there is a guy who walks his alpaca through the middle of town in summer... I mean how weird is that … but the guy is a wonderful man.

He actually parks his alpaca in front of our shop and people love it. People come from all over Hong Kong and China and they are like ‘a man with an alpaca, how quirky is that?’ People don’t expect these things, it kind of shocks them and amuses them at the same time.

Sheffield now has multiple festivals which is great the entire town gets behind them and dresses up for each festival.

Rini: I think it’s great, it’s a little weird and we are a little weird … in many ways we are quite eccentric.

Chris: We will never leave! Mt Roland could erupt and I would still say no I am staying here. This is the place to be. Tasmanian is a beautiful paradise island separated from the problems of the world even the rest of Australia and if you want to you can revel in that.

Rini and I have a dream, to be on the rocking chair of our house under Mt Roland into the wee hours of our life and I think that is something really wonderful to be able to look forward to.

Rini: I think it is like the billion dollar lottery question, like when someone asks you what would you do if you won three, four, or five million dollars? We’d be here we’d still be here, there is no better place for us, this is it.