Newrybar's food hotspot turns ten
TEN years ago, local couple Tristan and Kassia Grier received an offer they could not refused: the building and Harvest restaurant were both for sale and, as staff at the venue, former owner Gary Sharman asked if they would buy it, after they initially offered to manage it.
That day they picked up their friend, Brooke Hudson, from Ballina airport and the thre fo them decided to takle on the business venture that evening.
A decade later, Harvest Newrybar includes the restaurant, Deli, a bakery that serves as a private function venue, plus the onsite permaculture area.
Harvest has also a smaller sibling, Sparrow Coffee, with locations in Bangalow, Byron Bay, Port Douglas and Brisbane CBD, with plans for many more.
Tristan Grier explained that Michael Annetts joined the Harvest team as a partner with Sparrow Coffee.
"We have also been fortunate enough to form a relationship with Flash camp, pop up hotel/restaurant and bar," he explained.
Harvest directly employs around 70 people in peak season, with yearly wages into the local economy, totalling around 2.5 million dollars.
"We spend around 1.2 million dollars on local food producers and farmers and around $800,000 on our Australian-only alcohol list," Mr Grier said.
We sat for a quick chat with Tristan Grier to discuss the future of the business venture.
Why did you choose Newrybar as the location for Harvest?
We are a bit 'hippy', and we believe that Harvest choose us.
We feel that we just custodians of this little piece of European history in the Hinterland.
Our job is to progress this space in kind, leave it in better shape then we found it, blend it closer and tighter with our indigenous history, to create a new better future with more depth and country indigenous spirituality.
How important has it been the location in the success of Harvest?
Very important. Not only because of Newrybar's proximity to Ballina, Byron, Bangalow and Lennox Head, but based on the hinterland people, the locals that we have been working hard to give that sense of ownership.
How many customers did Harvest receive in 2016?
Approximately 70,000 guest a year in the restaurant, but that doesn't include people who drops in for our Sourdough Saturday and Sunday, or the visitors to the deli.
We are deeply thankful to every single person that has walked through our doors, being customers, business partners and staff. They made Harvest what it is today.
What is in the planning for the next two to five years?
We will continue to grow as a premiere restaurant, moving away from our cafe past.
We have recently employed a full time forager, Peter Hardwick.
He is one of Australia's authority and leading indigenous feral foraged foods.
Through his expertise, we will continue driving home what we believe is Australia's new food culture.
With Peter will be creating our uniquely Australian 'Wild Harvest' bottled sauces range.
Our bar will continue to support the local and Australian-only liquor industry.