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It is se­ri­ously pop­u­lar with the week­end day trip­pers, who come here for the winer­ies and for a meal with us

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. At first. 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 wordof-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 cafe´ 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 cafe´ and shop space and a beau­ti­fully ren­o­vated four-bed­room home­stead.

It is for sale through Ray White at Rom­sey.

Photo: JAY TOWN, Her­ald Sun

RUS­TIC DE­LIGHTS— Steve and Lyn­dal Buth with one of their beloved Berk­shires and, be­low, out­side the charm­ing home­stead that comes with their farm, shop and cafe at Heath­cote Har­vest.

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