Farming is becoming a popular and increasingly important segment of Australian life, with new entrants to the market opening in places like Blain, a small farm in northern NSW.
The Blain farm is the first of a number of new farm-focused restaurants being launched by Blain and Fleet Foods, which will be offering a range of high-quality Australian-style meals to a wider audience than just the local restaurant market.
While Blain & Fleet is a small operation, it’s expected to soon expand into new locations across Sydney, including Melbourne.
The restaurant’s menu will include everything from fresh baked pies to a wide range of salads.
In fact, Blain has already introduced its own breakfast special in partnership with its local bakery, so the farm will not only be making a name for itself on the local scene, but for Blain as well.
“We have this very unique blend of farm and restaurant,” said Blain co-owner Matt Roberts.
“We have a lot of our own ingredients that are made from local sources, we also have some of our local ingredients that we’re sourcing from the region.
We have our own spices and ingredients, so there’s a very different menu for us.”
Mr Roberts said he was inspired to open Blain when he was offered a chance to open a restaurant on the Blain Farm in 2013.
“I was in a really bad mood, I was really feeling down,” he said.
“The farmer said ‘I think you’ve got a very good restaurant and you can make a lot more money off it’.”
I said ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’.
“He said he took it on.
It’s going to be really good for us because we’re not going to have to hire someone else.””
A lot of people want to eat here, so we’re doing our own cooking, we’re using our own equipment, we have our equipment from our own farm,” he explained.
“It’s going to be really good for us because we’re not going to have to hire someone else.”
The farm is just a few kilometres from the Blains house and farmhouse, where the two men started their businesses.
In 2012, Blains owner Chris Brown told Fairfax Media the restaurant would be “the first restaurant I ever opened”.
“We’ve been doing it for 30 years now and it’s not going anywhere,” he added.
The menu at Blains farm will be focused on traditional Australian ingredients, such as a farm-raised lamb and pork roast.
It will also be prepared using the farm’s traditional cooking methods, such to the addition of herbs and spices.
The farm will also have a focus on seasonal produce.
“It’s a really good opportunity to put the farm in the spotlight,” said Mr Roberts.