Hidden at the back of a rural road at Glengarry, Fork n Farm Artisan Homestead appears at first an unassuming home - but behind the doors is so much more.
Fork n Farm is the brainchild of Cassie and Aaron 'Lob' Lobley, who moved to the state in 2018 from Weipa, on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.
While living in Weipa, the pair became proficient in growing their own produce and making smallgoods at home, purely out of necessity.
"Fresh food was non-existent, it was three days for the barge to get from Cairns around the tip of Queensland to us, so we never really got fresh food, bread, butter, everything," Mr Lobley said.
"So we learnt to do it ourselves, and then Cass was teaching everyone how to make things and it just continued."
"It started out as a fun day with friends, drinking and making cheese and salami and sausages, and then other people asked if they could show us and it went from there," Mrs Lobley added.
"It went to making sourdough, and I wrote a book on how to make cheese at home and it just all went gangbusters, especially the book during COVID."
The Lobley family moved to Glengarry three years ago, and built the business from the ground up.
All that was on the rural property initially was the house - with extensive works to build outdoor area and guest accommodation during that time.
"We opened in January last year, and we had to close in March," Mrs Lobley said.
"We're one of those businesses who didn't qualify for anything, and we'd just purchased a 12-seater bus and decked it all out and then of course we couldn't take tours and everything's closed.
"For us, it really helped us narrow down what we wanted to do with the business."
Cassie is a teacher, while Aaron was a teacher and is now a qualified refrigeration technician.
"We're lucky enough to have the qualifications to adapt to the situation with COVID, and do what we had to do to bring in an income," Mr Lobley said.
The main driver of the business are their courses - where people can attend over the course of a day or two and learn how to make various products - including jams, relishes, cheeses and smallgoods.
With beer and wine included in the cost, the idea to create accommodation at the property was borne from a lack of transport in the area if people had "one too many".
"They asked if we could make cabins out the back so we could sleep it off and leave in the morning, and Lob and I thought that was a good idea," Mrs Lobley said.
"We converted some cabins into containers - everything is made by us or upcycled. If we can upcycle something and make it more useful while it's still certified, why not."
Fork n Farm also works as an events destination - hosting weddings, bucks nights and birthday celebrations amongst others.
People are able to learn how to cook with ingredients from the extensive vegetable garden as well as learning to create during the classes.
Cassie and Aaron are big on collaboration - working with other businesses to expand their skills and offer more.
"I was complaining in one of our cooking classes how much money I was spending on artisan crackers, and one lady in it then taught me how to make them," Mrs Lobley said.
"We've worked with West Tamar Fungi for a workshop, we've done collaborations with the Trailer Pork Boys and more," Mr Lobley added.
Fork n Farm were winners in the 2021 Tasplan Business Excellence Awards, taking out the Tourism Excellence category - which came as a big shock to Cassie and Aaron.
"We didn't think we had a chance," Mrs Lobley said.
"We got extremely lucky, we were sitting on tables with people who have been in business a long time and we're one year in. It was just amazing."
For more information, Fork n Farm are online.
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