By Kate Foreman
On a small property just outside the coastal township of Robe lives the Hinchliffe family and their small herd of Jersey cows.
It has been a long process, but Julie and David Hinchliffe’s passion spans 11 years. Now, with two children and four products (so far) later, Robe Dairy has become a household name on the Limestone Coast.
After starting out the adventure packaging up their Jersey milk, Julie and David turned to creating delicious Robe Dairy yoghurt.
“We released Robe Dairy Yoghurt two years ago. It’s made like a traditional Greek yoghurt, but we haven’t called it Greek yoghurt because we’re not Greek and we don’t live in Greece,” Julie laughs.
“To be honest we didn’t want our yoghurt to be pigeon-holed with mass-produced Greek yoghurts being made in Australia; it’s nothing like them.
“This is our own Robe yoghurt, made with fresh milk from our herd of 20 Jersey cows and live yoghurt cultures – that’s it, just two ingredients, it’s got character, texture and a taste of place.”
The small dairy is completely owned and operated by David and Julie – it is as small a business as they come, but it is a labour of love for the family who get to call Robe home.
“We do everything in small batches, we hand ladle, and strain off the whey the old way,” says Julie.
“It’s all done slowly and carefully and it’s given the time it needs, which leaves a lot of mess and means a lot of heavy lifting.”
Robe Dairy products are sold locally around the Limestone Coast, with a few lucky stockists in Adelaide shelving their yoghurt, including Adelaide’s Finest Supermarkets.
Julie and David also hold tastings in Adelaide and at farmers’ markets on the Limestone Coast.
“When I do tastings, the beautiful old Greek ladies often come behind the table, grab my arm and say, ‘you good girl, you good girl’ so I know I must be doing something right,” she laughs.
“We just love doing tastings and farmers markets, it’s so satisfying.”
Robe Dairy’s products are made on a small scale, by the farmer with love and from a small herd, and that’s just the way Julie and David want to keep it.
“We receive a lot of good feedback on our yoghurt, it has definitely got a cult following,” she says.
“We’re not on Facebook (a conscious decision) so this feedback comes to us the old fashioned way – it’s nice that our product means something to someone and is not just another commodity.”
Robe Dairy won two gold medals and a major trophy in the 2015 Australian Dairy Product Competition. Read more on this and Robe Dairy in the Inside South Australia story It’s a double gold medal for Robe Dairy.
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