Bakery benefits from clean living
When Geoff Haycraft opened the Goanna Bakery and Cafe in Lismore eight years ago he knew he was taking an educated risk.
He knew Lismore already had a very substantial alternate community who would welcome his healthy food.
The cafe has since benefited from a revival of interest in healthy food in the wider community.
"I have a strong belief in healthy whole and organic food and eat that way myself," he said.
"I also see myself as an entrepreneur and saw providing that type of food as the basis for a successful business."
"People who come into the cafe often have a revelation about how good healthy organic food can be."
Mr Haycraft said his cafe trade is continuing to expand now accounting for 75% of his business.
"The emphasis in the cafe is on organics and about 70% of ingredients we use are organic and we also cater to special dietary needs such as gluten free, chemical free and vegan."
Mr Haycraft has been baking organic sourdough bread for 18 years. One of the basic building blocks of the business is his organic sourdough bread which is produced using a traditional sourdough leavening method rather than using modern baker yeast as a rising agent.
"Bakers yeast is one of the main causes of candida, a yeast infection that many people carry, that can cause causes digestive and other health problems" he said.
"Our sourdough bread breaks down the proteins and carbohydrates in the bread and makes the nutrition more readily available for the body."
Mr Haycraft currently employs 25-30 people and is a strong believer in delegation.
"We have a system in place so that the shop more or less runs itself," he said.
"The big challenge as a manager is to let go and trust other people.
"It confirms the old adage that a manager has to work on the business and not work in the business.
"When I get too caught up in the day to day I don't have the creative space to plan the businesses growth.
As a small business man in Lismore Mr Haycraft is also concerned that current legislation allows Coles and Woolworths to dominate the retail sector.
"This has the affect of marginalising and disempowering producers," he said.
"When I saw Dan Murphys come in to Lismore I really felt for the retailers that were being affected.
"They are now doing to alcohol what they have done to hardware, petrol and groceries."