STEVE and Lyndal Buth just can’t help themselves.
At being successful.
Which explains the asking price of $1.6-$1.625 million on the Heathcote Harvest for sale sign.
The Queensland expats moved to Heathcote six years ago to ‘retire’ into a self-sufficient lifestyle, with a small landholding outside town.
Where they would grow their own food, raise their own livestock and generally live high on the hog, as it were.
So that’s exactly what they did.
Then they started sharing some surplus produce with neighbours, and then they started selling a little and then they opened Heathcote Harvest and then, according to Steve, “it just went crazy”.
He said everything on the farm goes through the restaurant, which has become a “fantastic” little business.
“With the restaurant on the farm, work is 20m from the front door,” he said.
“We were really looking to retire after running our business in Queensland but it all just got away from us, even though we had absolutely no experience in hospitality.”
One of the best things about their little 8ha slice of heaven is its proximity to Melbourne.
Barely two hours north (depending on which suburb is your starting point) the capital provides 90 per cent of the customers at Heathcote Harvest.
Steve said not only was the clientele Melbourne based; the power of word-of-mouth referral had been amazing.
“We have customers who have been here 20 or 30 times, but best of all they often come first just as a couple, then the next time they bring some family and/or friends and then those people repeat the cycle.
“It just became exponential and now it is seriously popular with the weekend day trippers, who come here for the wineries and for a meal with us.”
It all started when the couple decided to host a ‘see what we have grown’ breakfast with all the neighbours.
Lyndal said the menu was 100 per cent homegrown – with bacon, eggs, vegies, ham and (Steve’s specialty) sourdough bread.
“So we asked everyone around us to drop in and share a bite and so many of them then said to us ‘if you ever sell this stuff we will buy it from you’.
“And that’s how we started the little shop,” Lyndal explained.
“Now we have the shop and the café and it has gone, and is going, really well.”
The couple agree their property “in the middle of the best wineries in Heathcote” is perfect for a family to take to the next level, with potential to plant a vineyard and set up farm stay accommodation.
As for the Buths, well they are planning to have another little adventure to destinations yet unknown, but are hoping this time it might include a more successful retirement.
Heathcote Harvest’s $1.6 million price tag includes the 8ha, the café and shop space and a beautifully renovated four-bedroom homestead.
It is for sale through Ray White at Romsey.