Going nuts over spreads
GROWING up on a Brooklet macadamia farm started Samantha Green's lifelong passion for nutty products.
Now she has combined her Maltese heritage and love of food with the humble macadamia to create Saghtar, a company manufacturing Mediterranean-inspired pastes and spreads with locally-sourced ingredients that are also preservative, lactose and gluten-free.
“Dad used to take my brother and I to collect bush nuts from a tree behind the Bangalow bank building, and we grew them as seed stock,” Ms Green said.
“As a family, we hand-planted 1500 macadamia trees, and did all the picking and processing by hand, which created a real connection with the land and my fascination with macadamias.”
When she left high school, Ms Green started packaging macadamias in 'snack packs' and selling them to local businesses.
“That was the beginning of me wanting to start a business,” she said.
After some time as an early childhood teacher, Ms Green followed her dream and enrolled in a marketing and international business course with the aim of getting into the macadamia industry.
Soon after, she met her husband Michael Green and had daughters, Gabrielle, four, and Rebecca, 18 months.
“I started Saghtar five years ago, because I didn't want to miss out on watching my children grow up,” Ms Green said.
Now the whole family is involved, with her mother-in-law Phyllis Green helping with the mixing and putting lids onto the ornate bottles, husband labelling, and daughter Gabrielle taking up post as secretary extraordinaire and the official taste-tester.
“My dad also makes the honey for our Honey Macadamia Spread, and my father-in-law and mother help care for the kids,” she said.
“Gabrielle is also a great salesgirl, and has a motto of 'just eat it'.”
After putting in a lot of effort for packaging and market research, Ms Green has seen her business grow, with her products available from local stores and an increase in mail orders.
The company has also just won awards at the Sydney Fine Food Show, with a silver for their Honey Macadamia Spread, and a bronze for their Chilli Macadamia Paste.
“I'm still grinning, and even family in Malta celebrated,” Ms Green said.
“We're a small family business with a real and honest passion for quality. Everything is hand-made, and every bottle goes out with a bit of love and passion.”