Goonellabah business picks up major awards

GOONELLABAH-based business Red Dragon Organics has picked up two awards in the Royal Hobart Fine Food awards.

It collected a silver medal for its Living Elixir turmeric ginger beer and a bronze for its organic ginger beer.

Owner/manager Richard Patton started selling his ginger beer at The Channon market more than 30 years ago and expanded about 12 years ago, opening a commercial kitchen and extending distribution into shops. He now has national distribution and the business has really taken off in the past two years with the addition of the Living Elixir.

He said it was the only product of its kind in the world and that it seemed to have therapeutic value for a range of conditions.

"Our business grew 100% in the first year (after introducing the Living Elixir) and then another 50% in the last financial year and I would say in the past two months we have grown another 50%," he said.

Mr Patton said he is told "remarkable stories" everyday from customers. He said the drink has helped people reduce arthritic pain, bring people out of chronic fatigue, improve circulation problems and balance prostrate so that men no longer need to urinate in the night.

"I've had an 85-year-old woman on chemotherapy tell me that she can eat real food again... Every time I go out someone stops me and thanks me.

"We made it for older people, but younger people have been thanking me too. Musicians tell me it earths them and gives them stamina. It's fantastic for exhaustion," he said.

They had not had the drink tested for therapeutic qualities because it was cost prohibitive, but he said the therapeutic value of the ingredients was well known.

As well as turmeric, the drink contains ginkgo, brahmi and gotu kola.

Mr Patton said it is all natural with no artificial stimulants and he expects sales to continue growing.

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