Gourmet Trail to be a map for food lovers

A delicious journey: Gourmet Coast Trail Association co-founders Greg Lissaman, Lucy Wilson and Fiona Kotvojs Picture: Honey Atkinson Photography
A delicious journey: Gourmet Coast Trail Association co-founders Greg Lissaman, Lucy Wilson and Fiona Kotvojs Picture: Honey Atkinson Photography

A website aimed at marketing gourmet food producers on the Far South Coast has benefited from the latest round of the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund.

The Gourmet Coast Trail Association was awarded $315,000 to implement a two-year marketing strategy, enhance the functionality of its Gourmet Coast Trail website - under construction - and boost its membership.

There currently 55 businesses already on board to be part of the trail, which spans from Wonboyn in the south north to Batemans Bay.

The trail is the brainchild of three local food and wine producers who said they share a common commitment to building up their local area and supporting local businesses.

Fiona Kotvojs came to the project from a perspective that the truffles provided an attraction in winter.

"It seemed like a good activity to bring people down during winter," Dr Kotvojs said.

Greg Lissaman of Mountain View's focus is on the quality of the primary produce in the area, he came to the project from his experience of producing premium tomatoes.

"Lucy Wilson is a winemaker and she produces really beautiful wines at Breakfast Creek, she came to it from the perspective of 'how can we increase the number of people who are in the area'." Dr Kotvojs said.

"Some of the country's best food and drink can be found on this stretch of coast - served with spectacular views and easy driving adventures," said co-founder Lucy Wilson.

"The fresh produce, wine, beer and spirits, artisanal foods and restaurants here give food-lovers the quality they demand and connects them with local food producers," Ms Wilson said.

Mr Lissaman said food lovers know no boundaries and the funding will enable them to promote the Gourmet Coast brand and promote member businesses across council boundaries.

"We have brought quality food businesses from three local government areas into one destination brand - The Gourmet Coast," Mr Lissaman said.

"This will inspire visitors to explore the whole Far South Coast," he added.

Dr Kotvojs said the Trail will help improve year-round food tourism for the region, helping businesses during the quieter winter season and attracting more tourists who love gourmet food.

"As more food tourists visit and stay longer, this will create year-round employment opportunities and primary producers should be able to obtain a better return for the quality food they produce, helping make our communities and farms more viable into the future," Dr Kotvojs said.

"We're really passionate about building our area, so we came together to work with businesses who make gourmet food in our region," Dr Kotvojs said.

She hopes it will provide opportunities for better incomes for primary producers that are producing quality food.

The way the Food Trail website will work is it will provide viewers with a list 55 businesses with links to their websites and some suggested itineraries.

"What we want is for tourists to find it before they come down here so that they go, 'wow there's so much to do here, we've got to come'," Dr Kotvojs said.

"We have a greater diversity of quality food in this area than anywhere else in Australia and we don't sell that," she said.

"I'm really pleased that the government has recognised that the Bega Valley and Eurobadalla has been really badly hit as a consequence of the bushfires and they are investing in us recognising the potential in this area," Dr Kotvojs said.

The Gourmet Coast Trail website is expected to open next month.

This story Gourmet Trail given zesty boost first appeared on Bega District News.