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Heart of Qld Solar Farm Store Cafe public opening soon!

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

2021 was another year which did not happen for many but for Evan, Nick and I, it was the start of an incredible chapter of our lives and the fateful beginning to the Heart of Qld Solar Fruit Farm cafe.

( This is a fictional Community story )

Nov 2021

I had recently completed my degree in Commerce at Deakin university and dabbled in freelance content writing to support my "year off" when I came across Trade Tales Global after an influencer from Tassie University shared it on social media. Naturally, not wanting to miss out, I signed up to the Marketplace. Evan, a horticulturist and a natural leader was the first person I met on the platform as his post on the solar store farm cafe idea drew me in. He had heard that the farmland 1.5 kms down the road from where he was, had just leased out their land for a Solar farm to be built and the panels were to be arranged in the shape of a heart (the rumour is, the layout was designed in living memory of someone who is no longer here but will be able to see the farm from where she is ) Several weeks later we met Nick. He is our numbers guy and super smart. Knowing him alone has been worth a dozen degrees. He is technical, detail orientated and meticulous - precisely who we needed to complete our team.

March 2022

Over several group meetings the three of us became like old friends. We talked about everything from our life plans to hiring staff, the store layout, marketing, finance, the seasonal menu and eventually hashed out a business plan to pitch investors

Aug 2022

The three of us decided to meet up in Cairns and went on an eco tour at the Daintree rainforest together. On that fortuitous day, we met Kah Xing, a very talkative and charismatic Chinese developer who stayed at the eco lodge in the cabin next to ours. He had been on the same eco tour earlier that day and so we got chatting and told him of our plans to open an eco cafe and store selling products using the organic produce we grow at the farm.

We were also wanting to set up a public access stair tower on the farm so visitors could climb to the top and have an unobstructed view of the solar farm from where we were for those who were keen on having an athletic start to their day. Kah Xing kept in touch and became a great friend and powerful business ally. He said he knew a local eco tour operator and would send her our way once we were ready. Jan 2023 I have decided to relocate to manage our new venture. Nick on the other hand wanted to pursue his career but gave us support remotely after hours and on the weekends whenever we needed his help and promised to visit us in Queensland every year. Having a stake in the farm has given him even more passion for his job. Things were coming together nicely. We had all the necessary permits and approvals and also had agreements in place to purchase energy from the local solar farm. We are particularly excited that our farm will be running on 100% solar energy backed by the grid.

March 2023 Evan is hard at work with a botanist cultivating a range of edible flowers and medicinal herbs. External suppliers were finally sorted and work on fitting out of the cafe and store is progressing well. We bought a commercial freeze dryer for the orchard fruits and brought in a large work bench so visitors could see products being hand made through the viewing window. Kah Xing being well connected had been evangelising the farm store & cafe in his business circles and had sourced the viewing tower at cost price from Dave, who previously supplied construction materials for his recently completed Lighthouse Apartment development along the Sunshine Coast. The modules for the tower were transported to our farm at the end of March. Kah Xing joked when it arrived, “ You know the tower has exactly 88 steps. 88 symbolises good luck in chinese, so that means when you climb to the top and you see the Heart of Qld solar farm, you will be Lucky in Love.” That stayed with us and we decided to print it on all our sustainably packaged products. Following several consultations with experienced International business advisors, we now had future plans on paper to expand the farm and have an online store to sell our local products and produce around the country and in other markets globally. Dave became our first investor. June 2023 We hosted a soft opening and invited social media followers, journalists, family and friends. True to his word, Kah Xing’s tour guide friend also brought along a group of tourists we were keen to meet and get feedback from. We made appetisers, kid sized version of the meals from the winter lunch menu and handed out samples of freeze dried Miracle berries with a cup of citrus, strawberry and tomato medley instead of a typical desert fare. The berries proved to be popular with the ladies since it could be good for weight loss and we were completely sold out halfway through the event. Our range of natural products and medicinal ointments did really well with the tourists who bought extras for family back home. The staff were stoked and the event gave us such a boost of positive energy to prepare for the public opening which was exactly one month away, in July. Get in touch via the Marketplace or visit our Farm cafe website

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