We’re Going Yellow to Help Our Homeless

On Friday, August 9th 2019 Alowishus in Bundaberg and Maryborough will once again be joining hundreds of cafes and coffee roasters for CaféSmart, a united effort to help homeless people in communities around Australia.

CaféSmart is an initiative of the great people at StreetSmart – Action Against Homelessness

Why We Love Being Part of CaféSmart

On any given night in Australia over 115,000 people are homeless – often through circumstances beyond their control. We believe everyone should have a safe and secure place to call home.

The funds raised through CaféSmart come back to local service providers such as Edon Place Women’s Shelter here in Bundaberg. This is a way to make a real difference in our local community at the grassroots level.

We have been involved for eight years now. Last year we raised $1113.70 between both stores which came back to help people in Bundaberg and Maryborough.

It’s Super Easy to Help Out

Do you like to drink our coffee?

We are going to assume that’s a ‘Yes’. So, all you need to do is buy a coffee (or any other hot drink) on August 9 th and we will give $1 to CaféSmart.

Can you afford an extra dollar?

You don’t have to, but we will be asking customers if they’d like to match our dollar with one of their own.

It’s that easy.

What Else Are We Doing?

The theme colour for CaféSmart is yellow, so to help raise awareness we will be dressing in yellow.

But we won’t stop there… we will have yellow cupcakes for sale with $1 from each of them also going to CaféSmart also.

Finally, Post Your Pics on Social Media

On the day, you can help let others know about this important cause by posting your coffee and cupcakes with the hashtag #helpyourhood

Let’s do something together to help the vulnerable in our community. We’d love to see you for coffee, a cupcake, or both on Friday, August 9th 2019.

Follow us on Facebook!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Alowishus Making A Difference In The World Of Waste

war on waste

In the past several months, Alowishus has further increased its efforts in the recycling arena. We have been trying extra hard to always sing to the tune of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” and have further reduced waste to landfill by two whole industrial bins per week.

That’s a whopping 156 cubic metres a year, NOT going into landfill.

With a saving in waste collection dollars of over $3000 this is great for the Environment AND Alowishus, but not so great for the Waste Collection Company.

How we did this

We have changed many things within our business and in the ways we work with our local suppliers. Furthermore, we partnered with some great other local businesses to further reduce our waste.

war on waster

  • We’ve partnered with Splitters Farm to collect our food waste.  They have provided us with branded, coloured wheelie bins and collect the scraps daily. Be sure to follow them on insta @splittersfarm
  • The team at the Endeavour Foundation are collecting our used coffee grounds for their worm farm and apparently the worms are LOVING the caffeine
  • JJ Richards recycling collect our cardboard for processing twice a week – and BOY! Do we get a lot of cardboard, literally, truck loads of it
  • Our daughter Ally collects all the 10c eligible containers that are left at Alowishus (a budding entrepreneur).  She did cash flow projections and with compounding interest factored in, she has calculated she can save $20K by the time she’s 18.  I’ll keep you posted on how that goes!
  • We recycle our Honey Pales back to our local supplier, Hummock Honey and he passes them back onto groups for non food use
  • All food pales that come in are given away to people who reuse them for various things, from crafts to water bowls for their animals.
  • Our egg trays (and there are loads of them), are taken for all sorts of reasons, from people who have chickens, to kindy classes and musicians attempting to sound proof their studios.
  • Our 20 litre drums are also given away for repurposing as they are emptied.
  • All eligible plastics are placed into a JJ Richards Co-Mingle recycling bin and are processed back through the Bundaberg Regional Council Waste Management Facility. Milk bottles, cans and dressing bottles are among the bin load of plastics recycled on a weekly basis.
  • Doing all of this has reduced the number of garbage bags we use from around 500 a month, down to 300!  And we are still working on reducing further.

REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE

Unfortunately the $3000 a year we have saved on waste management will be taken from us by the State Government come the first of July 2019.  The Labor Government are introducing a controversial Waste Management ‘levy’ of $75 per tonne and this is set to increase annually by $5.  This ‘levy’, which in reality is a TAX, is predicted to generate $1.3 billion in revenue, of which a mere $150 million will go into developing Qld’s recycling industries or into helping our environment.

Read State MP David Batt’s address to parliament here

Where is the other $1,150,000,000 ($1.15B) going?  That is the same question I’m asking?

Believe me, I’m all for:

  • helping the environment
  • recycling
  • and improving our waste management

I just don’t think that this so called ‘waste levy’ will be effective in helping the environment, not when less than 10% of it is actually going to the environment.

That’s just my opinion ………

What are your thoughts on the matter?

 

 

 

2018 Cafe of the Year Winners below – To vote for Alowishus Delicious in 2019 click here

Cafe of the Year Alowishus Delicious 2018

Cafe of the Year Alowishus Delicious 2018

Taken from Countrywide Cafe of the Year 

What our 2018 CW Café of the Year winner had to say about winning!

Last year the CW Café of the Year 2018 title went to Alowishus Delicious of Bundaberg, Queensland. We recently caught up with owner, Tracey McPhee to ask her about her experience last year and what taking out the title and $25,000 top prize meant to her and her team.

Tracey said “the whole team at Alowishus Delicious were engaged and proactive during the promotion and it created a great sense of camaraderie. It really brought the team together”.

Cafés registered this year should make sure they get their customers involved and use social media to get lots of exposure just like Alowishus Delicious did in 2018. When the winner was announced Tracey explained “it was just thrilling, everyone was so excited, my heart was racing. We had a great response from the community too who had followed our journey and were wanting to congratulate us”.

With the winnings Alowishus Delicious hosted a big post-Christmas party and have also purchased a much-anticipated cake fridge. What would your café do if they were to win the $25,000 prize in 2019? Register today at www.cwcafeoftheyear.com.au/cafe/register

Vote for us for 2019.  If Alowishus wins this year we are donating $5,000 each to these two local charities:

Angels Community Group in Bundaberg and The Food Basket in Maryborough

A little bit about Angels Community Group:  Angels Community Group, a registered charity & community-based organisation, was formed in April 2015 when founding members Kerri Savidge and Sue Tasker realised the power that comes from giving people a purpose. This has been accomplished by creating a supportive environment where people experiencing a sense of loss (the loss of a loved one, a job, a relationship or even the loss of identity or life direction) are able to achieve or regain the confidence and skills necessary to lead meaningful social and economic lives through personal growth, a sense of worth, friendship and social networks, career development, productive employment and long-term financial stability.

A passionate organisation dedicated to giving back to the community, we are committed to extending our range of social enterprises and charitable projects into the future. This spirit of giving is championed by our Board, staff and volunteers and in addition to transforming lives (our own included), we wholeheartedly believe in new beginnings, broadened horizons, seizing opportunities and smashing stigmas. We also live by our motto that you help yourself by helping others!

Vote for us here

 

Alowishus The Queen of Instagram

INSTAGRAM

10 Local Spots for a Beautiful Instagram Feed

Instagram

We were recently featured in an article from Bundaberg & North Burnett Tourism called 10 Local Spots for a Beautiful Instagram Feed.  Our team were pretty chuffed to say the least.

 

Here’s what they said about our Instagram Feed ……………………..

Probably the queen of the Insta world in Bundaberg, Alowishus’s Insta-game has been rivalled by very few. Enjoy delicious food (including everyone’s favourite; all day breakfast) in the trendy Earls Court with a classic menu to please even the fussiest of eaters, mouth-watering homemade gelato, decadent gelato thick shakes, quirky table numbers and even a white brick wall to grab that perfect OOTD shot.

Our Instagram Page:  alowishus

Hashtag: Alowishus Delicious

Be sure to follow us on Insta for all the latest and greatest, competitions and behind the scenes stuff on our ever running Insta Story

Below, our delicious Bacon and Egg Burger with hollandaise sauce, available 7 days until 3pm, see our entire menu here alowishus.com.au/menu

Photo by user alowishus, caption reads When the burgers are better at @alowishus 🍔😍 Open Anzac Day tomorrow 8-4pm, serving up all day brekky! Ft. ALOWISHUS BACON & EGG ROLL 🥓🍳 full of hollandaise and swiss cheese, just how we like it! 😍🍃

DELICIOUS BREAKFAST

Our cafe menu is available until 3pm daily. All items are available to take away.
A 15% surcharge applies to public holidays

  • CRISPY BACON & FREE RANGE EGGS
    13.90
    two pieces of crispy bacon and two free-range eggs with grilled cherry tomato & sourdough toast
  • BACON & EGG ROLL
    9.5
    with swiss cheese, baby spinach,
    tomato relish & hollandaise sauce on a brioche bun
  • EGGS BENEDICT
    16.9
    two poached eggs on sourdough with baby spinach, hollandaise sauce and your choice of smoked salmon, bacon or ham
  • ALOWISHUS FRITTERS
    15.9
    two zucchini & sweet corn fritters with guacamole, tomato salsa, sourcream, rocket and a poached egg
  • BREAKFAST STACK
    17.9
    on sourdough with avocado, bacon, halloumi, baby spinach, pesto, cherry tomatoes, two poached eggs & balsamic glaze
  • SMASHED AVO & FETA
    14.9
    Served on sourdough with pesto tossed greens & cherry tomatoes
  • ALOWISHUS BIG BREAKFAST
    18.9
    two free-range eggs your style, bacon, kransky, grilled cherry tomatoes, hashbrowns, mushrooms & tomato relish with sourdough toast
  • PANCAKES
    13.9
    with house-made vanilla bean gelato, maple syrup & berry compote
  • BREAKFAST SIDES

    mushrooms, grilled cherry tomato, extra egg, hash brown, extra toast2.5 each

    avocado, cheese kransky, bacon rashers, halloumi, smoked salmon

    3.5 each

  • TOAST
    4.9
    two slices of white, grain, wholemeal or sourdough with butter & your choice of either vegemite, strawberry jam or honey
  • RAISIN TOAST
    5.9
    two slices with butter
  • BANANA BREAD
    5.9
    with butter
  • NOURISH BOWL
    10.9
    with the house- made crunchy granola, greek style yogurt, berry compote, local hummock honey & seasonal fruits
FREE Coffee at Alowishus

LITTLE BITES

Not for grown-ups!

  • HASHBROWNS WITH TOMATO SAUCE
    6.9
    5 triangle hashbrowns with tomato suace
  • CHICKEN NUGGETS
    6.9
    with shoestring fries
  • HAPPY PANCAKES
    6.9
    with our house-made vanilla gelato

BURGERS & CO

  • BEEF BURGER
    15.9
    house-made beef patty, tasty cheese, caramelised onion, lettuce, tomato, aioli & tomato relish & shoestring fries
  • CRISPY SWEET CHILLI CHICKEN BURGER
    15.9
    southern fried chicken fillet with caramelised onion, tomato, tasty cheese, cos lettuce, aioli & sweet chilli sauce on a soft bun served with choice of shoestring fries or sweet potato chips
  • B.L.A.T
    15.9
    bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato, aioli & shoestring fries
  • ADD THE WORKS TO YOUR BURGER
    3
    bacon, fried egg & pineapple

THE CLASSICS

    • BEEF NACHOS
      10.9
      tomato & onion salsa, guacamole, sour cream, tasty cheese & beef mince
    • CLASSIC BEEF LASAGNE W SALAD
      12.9
      made in-house
    • QUICHE OF THE DAY W SALAD
      12.9
      made in-house
    • VEGGIE PIE W SALAD
      12.90
      our special house made veggie pie contains layers of 8 different vegetables & a hint of chilli
    • ADD A SIDE OF SHOESTRING FRIES OR SWEET POTATO CHIPS
      3.5
  • SHOESTRING FRIES OR SWEET POTATO CHIPS
    7.9
    w/ aioli & sweet chilli sauce

SANDWICHES

  • CHICKEN & AVO
    6.95
    poached chicken, avocado, tomato, lettuce & aioli
  • TASTY TRIO
    6.95
    deli leg ham, swiss cheese, tomato, butter
  • PASTRAMI & SWISS
    6.95
    pastrami, swiss cheese, tomato, rocket & dijonaise
  • NEW ORLEANS
    6.95
    deli roast beef, tomato relish, caramelised onion, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato
  • SMASHED EGG & LETTUCE
    6.95
    smashed egg & mixed lettuce with Alowishus dressing

SALADS

  • GRILLED CHICKEN CAESAR
    12.9
    Grilled chicken strips, parmesan, bacon, egg, croutons, cos lettuce, caesar dressing
  • CHICKEN SCHNITZEL
    12.9
    warm chicken schnitzel strips, cucumber, cherry tomato, feta,  red onion, mixed lettuce & honey- mustard vinaigrette
  • PESTO PUMPKIN
    12.9
    roast pumpkin, baby beetroot, pine nuts, feta, pesto, baby rocket & baby spinach
  • TUSCAN SWEET POTATO SALAD
    12.9
    sweet potato, red onion, feta, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, rocket, baby spinach & pesto yoghurt dressing
  • GRILLED CHICKEN
    13.9
    honey-glazed grilled chicken strips, mixed lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocado, red onion & honey-mustard vinaigrette
  • JAZZ UP YOUR SALAD
    3.5
    ADD any of the following:
    poached chicken, grilled chicken, roast beef, ham, smoked salmon

BAGUETTES

  • PESTO ROAST BEEF
    8.95
    slow roasted beef, parmesan, capsicum, caramelised onion, rocket, pesto yoghurt dressing
  • DELI HAM & SWISS CHEESE
    8.95
    tomato, baby spinach, dijonaise
  • MEDITERRANEAN PASTRAMI
    8.95
    with feta, baby spinach, roast capsicum, red onion and pesto
  • TASTY CHICKEN
    8.95
    with poached chicken, tasty cheese, tomato, baby rocket, dijonaise

WRAPS

  • CHICKEN CAESAR
    7.95
    poached chicken, parmesan, bacon, egg, lettuce, croutons, caesar dressing
  • NUTTY PUMPKIN
    7.95
    spiced pumpkin with pine nuts, feta, baby spinach, roast capsicum & pesto
  • HAM & SMASHED EGG
    7.95
    deli ham, smashed egg, tasty cheese, lettuce, tomato & alowishus dressing
  • POACHED CHICKEN & SALAD
    7.95
    with tasty cheese, carrot, tomato, lettuce, onion, alowishus dressing
  • SWEET CHILLI SCHNITZEL
    7.95
    strips of chicken schnitzel, cucumber, red onion, tomato, tasty cheese, sweet chilli, lettuce & aioli
  • CHICKEN SCHNITZEL & SLAW
    7.95
    strips of chicken schnitzel, slaw, swiss cheese, baby spinach and dijonaise

Henceforth: A journey to a new place

The written word has always fascinated me in a way that I possibly don’t even understand yet myself. I remember as a young lad in school that I really enjoyed history, although I must confess, this interest started when I got my first copy of Age of Empires II: The age of Kings, a computer game where you played historical scenarios and learned the historical context around which they happened; a very engaging way to learn indeed. What does this have to do with coffee? Plain and simple – I have no idea! However, this interest inevitably led me, likewise, to have an interest in what people back then were writing about: their beliefs, stories and mythologies. So, a very interesting era for me was the 17th century when the enlightenment took hold and revolutionised our world forever, but a very subtle factor of that era that I think gets overlooked quite easily, is the language of that time and how people spoke and in this particular case: English. English, in my humble opinion and many others I’m sure would agree, of the 17th century was at the height of its beauty and eloquence and would beat any hashtag or literary trend we have now: ANY DAY! It’s also the era of spoken English in which Shakespeare wrote his plays and even now still considered masterpieces.

Henceforth Cold Brew - Available at Alowishus Delicious

Henceforth Cold Brew – Available at Alowishus Delicious

So fast-forwarding to now, having recently started my journey in hospitality and particularly the coffee scene, I jumped at the opportunity when it arose to take forward a project that involved crafting cold brew coffee and also to develop its own labelling. I instantly started thinking about the branding and from what inspiration I would draw from. Obviously, I went for the amazing gift we have as humans, to communicate with speech, as the inspiration. Any language of course, is just as amazing as the next but it just so happens that we live in an English speaking country. At least, for the most part that is.

After pondering on the name of the brand for a bit, I wanted to come up with something that invoked action, as the Merriam-Webster dictionary states, “…expressing some relation of manner or quality, place, time, degree, number…” (Adverb. (n.d.). Retrieved 14 March, 2018 from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adverb).

A Cold Brew for Yea-Sayers

And so, Henceforth was born! I loved the fact that one word encapsulated so many things at once but also made a call to action. Henceforth simply means from this point on (Merriam-Webster dictionary). Furthermore, other elements that fit well with Henceforth were a compass and finally – THE COFFEE! With all the elements together, the concept I hoped to convey through the labelling was that ‘from this point onwards (Henceforth) having a cold brew of your choice (THE COFFEE!) will direct your day (the compass) no matter what errand you’re on (YOU the coffee drinker). So with this branding personality in place and the help of very talented people that I consulted for help on a regular basis and will continue to do as the brand develops, and without who’s help wouldn’t have made it possible, we have arrived at what is only the starting point of something special. FIN!

 ~Heinrich

 

Watch Now: Alowishus Visiting Local Bundy Farms

We surprised 3 local Bundaberg businesses with some of our delicious, house-made gelato. What’s even better, we made it using their very own produce!

 

Cafes Bundaberg – 5 Local Cafes Worth Instagramming About

Cafes Bundaberg

Cafes Bundaberg – A big Thank You to our awesome Social Media Manager Olivia Harvey, due to her efforts, Alowishus Delicious has been voted as one of 5 local cafes worth instagramming about.

Thanks to Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism for the original blog post and for choosing to feature us.  You can read it here:

5 Local Cafes Worth Instagramming About In The Bundaberg North Burnett Region

 

5 Local Cafes Worth Instagramming About In The Bundaberg North Burnett Region

Alowishus hit the list for Bundaberg Cafes worth Instagramming about.  Check us out on Instagram – cafes Bundaberg

1. Nonna’s Gelateria @ The Windmill

Ice-cream for breakfast? Yes, please! Located in Bargara this picturesque café is worth an Instagram post without even going in, however, if you do you will surely be rewarded.  They have delicious baked goods, acai bowls and incredible breakfasts.

A beautiful, sunny day at Nonna's Gelateria @ The Windmill (Credit: Sarahdibbs)
A beautiful, sunny day at Nonna’s Gelateria @ The Windmill (Credit: Sarahdibbs)

2. Nourish Café

If you are looking for something fresh, light and clean you should check out Nourish Café.

Offering delectable meals made from whole foods and local produce, most noteworthy, they have in-house made bread, and cooking workshops.

Nourish Bounty Bowl (Credit: Sisteremma)
Nourish Bounty Bowl (Credit: Sisteremma)

3. Indulge

Brisbane Times Good Food Guide People’s Choice Winners 2016 local café Indulge.  They create their menu around their motto; ‘we know where it came from and how it was made’.

Sourcing fresh, in-season produce daily from local growers and producers making them a second-to-none dining spot for locals and visitors alike.

Delicious Poached Pear Breakfast at 'Indulge' (Credit: Kat_cot)
Delicious Poached Pear Breakfast at ‘Indulge’ (Credit: Kat_cot)

4. Sea Gypsy

Located at Burnett Heads is a small café whose boho vibes can be felt before you even enter the door. If you are in the mood to relax, wear a long floral skirt and sip chai lattes, then this is the place to go.

Vege Share Platter at 'Sea Gypsy' (Credit: Imejine)

Vege Share Platter at ‘Sea Gypsy’ (Credit: Imejine)

5. Alowishus Delicious

Besides having the best Instagram game in Bundaberg this alleyway coffee shop is a favourite among locals. Particularly for their coffee, fresh takeaway lunch options and quality catch ups. Don’t be afraid to head down the alley and see their quirky table ‘numbers’!

'Alowishus Delicious' takeaway lunches (Credit: Alowishus)
‘Alowishus Delicious’ takeaway lunches (Credit: Alowishus)

Click here to see our menu featuring loads of local produce

Bundaberg Cafe Alowishus Delicious Visiting Local Farms

The number of cafes Bundaberg has to offer is growing every year and we are proud to be amongst your favourite ones.

 

Libbys love affair with ice cream

Ice Cream

Not sure how old I was when I had my first ice cream?   ……. I’m not talking about the sort that came out of the freezer at home if and when I had eaten all my vegetables  ……. The real stuff.  The colourful substance in those tall tins in the cold cabinet at the Great Australian Ice Creamery.  Where you could press your nose hard against the cold glass aice cream gelato icecream ice-cream s you tried to make a decision.

In our house, an ice cream was always “the perfect treat”.  As a kid, when Dad said “let’s go for an ice cream” I knew it was a “happy day!!”   Whether it was a reward, a chance for my sisters and I to ride our bikes to the corner store, a soft serve, the neighbour’s mango ice-blocks, Mr Whippy, or a holiday treat on a hot summer’s day, it diice cream gelato icecream ice-cream dn’t matter.  That was until on a holiday to our usual spot, Caloundra, we discovered … Gelato!!

There was just something indulgent about that smooth, delicate, creamy texture.  Not icey – and so many flavours, fruity or creamy, in a crunchy waffle cone or a cup.   Decisions, decisions – they gave us cute little spoons to sample it before we made our choice.  This only made the decision even harder.  I’d never been anywhere else where you could sample the food before you bought it!   So every visit to Caloundra after that demanded several must-do trips to Milanos.

And so ….. my love of ice cream came from pretty ordinary beginnings but many happy childhood memories were formed in those days. It was just one of those special things my Dad and I used to do.

Starting out in the Ice Cream business ………

When Tracey approached me to become involved in the Gelato making at Alowishus something really excited me.  It ignited a passion for Gelato making which continues to flourish. I have thoroughly enjoyed my Gelato journey and still pinch myself that Tracey and Mike have given me the opportunity to experiment and craft this awesome product.

ice cream gelato icecream ice-cream I love matching the flavours with Bundaberg’s extensive fresh local produce to create delicious cups of “awesomeness”.  I’ve discovered the combination of flavours is endless and I get really excited about the wide range we have on offer. It has been a real buzz and I somehow think my heart was meant for Alowishus.

I have made it my mission to sample Gelato wherever I go with the aim of serving the freshest, creamiest and best-tasting Gelato around.  This ensures Alowishus Gelato is an all- round pleasurable, once-is-not-enough experience.

Come and check out our Gelato cabinet.  It’s a celebration of our “love affair” with Gelato. I know you’ll love it too.

And the most asked question… ”which one???”

Choose your favourite flavour here:   www.alowishusgelato.com.au

Watch more of Libby’s gelato journey here:

One fine day at Tinaberries Strawberry Farm in Bundaberg

Tinaberries

Our passion for fresh, local produce has led us to work with some amazing local farmers, just like Tinaberries, right here in the Bundaberg Region.

During the Bundy season, we source all our strawberries from their local farm for use in our delicious sorbet and gelato.

At Alowishus, we believe that buying local produce doesn’t only help our community grow but it tastes better, too. This is because it can be picked at peak ripeness to ensure the absolute best quality and flavour.

We like to know where our food comes from and love to share the stories of the people who grow it with our customers.

We are truly blessed for having so much amazing produce available right here in Bundy. The Bundaberg Region accounts for around 25% of all of Australia’s produce.

Thank you, Bundaberg! Thank you, Tinaberries!

Tip: Head over to Tinaberries website for some delicious strawberry recipes.

Tinaberries Strawberries - Picked at peak ripeness Tinaberries Strawberry Punnets Tinnaberries - Hand-picked Strawberries in Bundaberg

 

Some berry tips just for you:

To maximise flavour strawberries should be served at room temperature.
Take them out of the fridge one hour before serving.

Too much water will damage the soft fruit and encourage breakdown.
Only wash berries immediately prior to use.

How to hull strawberries
The hull or calyx is the green leafy top of the strawberry, which is generally removed before cooking or serving. Angle a small sharp knife and cut, in a circular motion, around the green leafy top of the strawberry and into the pale flesh directly underneath.Remove the hull and discard. Wash strawberries under cold running water before using.

 

 

 

Have you joined the Good News yet?  You should, as you get freebies, straight into your inbox every month.  Start now with 2 free coffees.  Click the link below for your FREE stuff

www.alowishus.com.au

You might also like: Chai Me – Find Your Own Inner Spice

Paying it Forward in Bundaberg

Bundaberg people truly have put their money where their mouth is with their support behind a local Pay It Forward initiative. More than 530 sandwich vouchers have been purchased and handed out to people who are homeless or struggling between pay cheques each week.

In November 2015 Alowishus Delicious and IMPACT’s Street Outreach Service teamed up to help those in need. Owners of Alowishus, Tracey and Michael McPhee, promote a strong ethos of community support and so the Pay It Forward voucher ingenuity was inevitable.

“At Alowishus, we believe if we want to see change, we have to be that change. That’s why giving back is a big part of what we do, and helping on a local level means we get to witness that change,” said Tracey. “For the support we put forward though, it is our customers who are the ones that make it happen, we just put it out there. I love that Alowishus is a vehicle that enables the entire community to give back. Mostly, people want to help, but they’re unsure how to do it, I think we’ve made it easy and affordable for people to contribute.”

Alowishus suggest just a $4 donation, which equates to one sandwich or toastie voucher, they subsidise the remaining cost of any sandwich. The vouchers are then handed out to people that the Street Outreach volunteers meet. From the 539 vouchers already paid forward, 388 have been bought in store, 27 have been purchased online, 84 came via donations from Moncrieff Entertainment Centre’s fundraising efforts and Alowishus have put forward a further 40 after the national CafeSmart event in August.

IMPACT Street Outreach coordinator Cristel Simmonds says it is so much more than just a sandwich to the people who receive them. “Yes, it is a meal, often the only one for some people, but it means a lot more to them than just food in the long run. They have a chance to connect and feel part of their community, they get to attend a popular café, they get to communicate with staff where they are not judged, where they are accepted.

Pay it Forward

Many people who use these vouchers are lonely and socially isolated, they benefit greatly from that basic interaction. Something as simple as a sandwich can mean so much more to people who have less than most.” Recipients of the vouchers can order straight off the menu and are welcome to dine in or take away, which ever they are most comfortable with.

The Outreach Van is a vital community service that offers people a safe and trusted contact and gateway to other services and advocacy advice. Volunteers help deliver the service twice a week in Bundaberg with the aim of connection, conversation, and compassion. The van carries Street Swags, blankets, warm drinks, vouchers and essential items such as toiletries and sanitary items that can all make someone more comfortable, especially if they’re sleeping rough.

This article was originally published on the IMPACT Community Services Website on 16 Sep 2016: https://www.impact.org.au/paying-it-forward

Bundaberg: Visit the heart of Australia’s fresh food

Farmers, strawberries and rum, the perfect combination for a gourmet food tour in Bundaberg and Alana Lowes, The Flying Foodie, went to the heart of Australia’s fresh food to sample the best on offer

Culinary tourism is at the heart of Bundaberg and Alana Lowes, The Flying Foodie, ate and drank her way around the region, meeting food producers, restaurateurs and discovered Bundaberg is the heart of Australia’s fresh produce.

It might well have been the cane sugar farming which placed Bundaberg on the food map, but these days, the fertile soil, abundance of sunshine and innovative farmers means Bundaberg is now known for being at the heart of fresh fruit and vegetables in Australia.  I was lucky enough to get up close and personal out on the farms and in the café’s to taste, chat and laugh with the best of Bundaberg’s food personalities.

One of the newest food experiences to bloom in Bundaberg is the Bundy Cooks Tours.  More than just a food tour, owner, Suzie Clarke, has created a true farm gate to plate exploration.  The tour provides a view into the daily life of a producer and an insight into the history of farming families in the region.

Anthony Rehbein, 4th generation farmer on the Hummock in Bundaberg, grows some of the country’s best ginger at Bundaginga Farm.

“Perfect growing conditions and processing within hours after being handpicked in the key to the freshest flavour,” boasts Anthony.

Acknowledging diversification is the key in farming, Anthony has introduced a variety of ginger products.

“Our pickled ginger is made in February when we pick the new season ginger,” Anthony explains.

“This ginger is a milder flavour and is perfect for pickling.”

The pickled ginger is available to purchase along with their ground and sweet ginger bites.  I suggest packing an extra suitcase to take home your Bundy delights, I did!

From ginger to sweet potato, the Bundy Cooks Tour continues.  The next time you purchase a sweet potato it has most likely come from Bundaberg where 80% of Australia’s sweet potatoes are grown.

Linda and Darren Zucker are also 4th generation farmers in Bundaberg with their families being some of the original settlers in the region.  The rich red volcanic soil makes it ideal for growing sweet potatoes, some of the biggest I have ever seen.  Our tour takes us through the washing and packing shed, a vibrant and energetic place, just one part of the food chain in order to get fresh produce to market.  I love to see Linda’s hands and jeans are stained with the colour of the land, reminding us we are standing on top of soil growing some of the country’s best tasting produce.

Tinaberries is our final stop on our Bundy Cooks Tour.  Producer of delicious, rich, ripe strawberries and passionfruit, Tina McPherson, is everything you dream a strawberry farmer is.  Warm, bubbly with a splash of strawberry pink lipstick, Tina is passionate about supplying locals with the very best strawberries in Australia.

“Large supermarkets require strawberries to be picked partly white which means they won’t ever get any sweeter, we pick fully ripe red,” she explains.

“They are perfectly sweet, ripe and juicy,” beams Tina.

Tina is absolutely correct, my first bite into the crimson red flesh results in juicy dribbles down the chin.  The best strawberry I have ever tasted.

Bundaberg has embraced its farming history and premium produce with many of the café’s and food spots around town providing a real paddock to plate experience.

Standing behind the motto, “we know where it came from and how it was made”, Amanda Hinds, co-owner and head chef of Indulge Café, happily obsessively sources and cooks with the best of the in-season local ingredients.  Spoilt for choice, Amanda’s menu lists items such as “Eden Farms raspberry and coconut bread with Brucie’s passionfruit curd” or “crisp Hummock Farms potato cake topped with Simpson Farms Avocado or my breakfast of “Burnett Heads spanner crab, scallops and Tu’s tiger prawn omlette with local XO sauce, lemon and miso butter sauce and Bundaginger pickled baby ginger.

“Our menu is literally farmers on a plate,” she explains,

“We keep foods simple, but with an edge, giving the food a home.”

Speaking of avocados, they will soon be out of season up in Bundaberg and Amanda will for the first time be removing them from the menu the moment she can’t source any local avocados.

“We serve everything in season, as soon as it isn’t available, we take it off the menu,” Amanda claims.

“We have just dropped off the broccoli dish and soon it will be the avocados.”

Trust is the key ingredient explains Amanda, her customers trust her to chop and change her menu with the season and with the produce literally dropped at her back door.

“Farmers are knocking on the back door of the kitchen all the time with boxes of fresh produce straight from the land”, beams Amanda.

“We also make all our own pickles and preserves from local produce,” she says as she places two jars in my lap, preserved tropical peaches and preserved blueberries.  Looks like I’m taking a little piece of Bundy back home with me to enjoy!

At the quiet end of town, Bundy Pies and Patisserie has had a recent makeover and is bringing traditional French sweets to the country.  Newest Bundaberg resident, Adrien Marcinowski, is a French pastry chef creating delicate desserts such as strawberry frasier cake,  eclairs and almond croissants.

Alowishus Delicious delivers superb Italian style gelato to the main street of Bundaberg.  Libby, one of the Gelaticians (yes there is such a thing!) passionately explains to us she has been testing new flavours using local fruits.  She recently acquired a large box of passionfruits and exciting reveals the passionfruit gelato which is creamy, lightly sweetened and tangy, bursting with passionfruit flavour.  Alowishus blends Tinaberries strawberries to a pink hued ice-cream and the salted caramel Bundaberg Rum gelato is an absolute standout.

Speaking of Rum, the iconic Bundaberg Rum Distillery has opened their new visitors centre.  Housed in the recently decommissioned Bonds sheds, the historic buildings tell the tale of a city known for it rum distillery.  Rumbling cane sugar trains, move slowly along the edge of the property and strong scents of molasses make you feel like you are part of the daily production of the golden liquor.

For the ultimate Bundaberg Rum experience, sign up to the one-of-a-kind Blend Your Own Rum tour.  Immerse yourself and see, touch, smell and taste your way through your tour, before spending time with your expert guides teaching you about the art of tasting rum – straight from the barrel.  Pick your favourites and make your perfect blend of the Master Distillers range to take home.

Alana Lowes was a guest of Creative Regions, Bundaberg and Virgin Australia and stayed at The Point Resort Bagara.

This article was written by Alana Lowes and originally appeared on https://travel.virginaustralia.com/au/holidays/flying-foodie-bundaberg