"We live at Minden on a 2acre farm. Our business started in 1999 when we both had full-time jobs. We wanted to start a family and couldn't do everything so I decided to resign in 2001 (from a full-time job with the Queensland Police Service working in Human Resources). Paul had his own Garden Maintenance business with excellent clients. It was a full-time thing. As soon as I resigned and worked for The Chilli Patch full time I fell pregnant in two months. We discussed staying in jobs but didn't want to have our children for someone else to look after them. We wanted to be here full time to care for them. Over the next couple of years, we had Cooper in 2002 and Bailey in 2003. They are the whole reason we do what we do. Cooper is now 15 and Bailey 13 years old. They are our whole life."
Can you me what happened a year or so ago that made you rethink what you needed to do?
"Our business was slowing down about two years ago and we weren't making ends meet so decided both of us would find jobs and join the real world. After working in his job for 12 months Paul wasn't happy and resigned and then I was working 60 hours a week plus travelling time to West End every day. It was getting too much and the breaking point was Cooper telling me that my job owned me and that I didn't love him anymore. As a mother hearing that gutted me and I decided to resign and start our business up again".
What are the values you hold dear?
"Family, Communication, Honesty and Caring for everyone and what we have."
How did you set about fixing that?
"Spending quality time together again. It was all we wanted to do."
Since concentrating on building up your business again has that worked for you all?
"Oh yes, everyone is much happier. It's not ever easy in our house. We seem to struggle a lot but at least we are all together again and working on what's important to all of us."
What do you pride yourself on?
"Being able to do everything with the boys and help anyone who needs it. Working from home means that our life is flexible. We work around everything the boys do. We've always supported them in what they are trying to accomplish. Sports days and excursions. Anything to do with school is always our priority. We fund raised for four years when the boys were at Primary School. It was a way not only to support them but also the teachers and school they attended. "
"It has taught Cooper and Bailey about caring for people, helping when someone needs you to, responsibility and honesty, communication and assisting anyone who needs help. We support family and neighbours around us. "
How can we all help you in maintaining this lovely farm and your distribution of fresh herbs to Brisbane?
"We have 8 herb trolleys around Brisbane in the Western and City Suburbs. We top up our herb trolleys every Thursday with fresh herbs and salad greens. We put our herbs in on consignment and bill each store at the end of the month. It's the way we make our house payment each month. "
"Definitely, all they have to do is call or contact us. If we are home they are more than welcome to come to the farm and visit. We are going to start opening our farm once or twice a month on a weekend. You can come and choose your fresh herbs. We hope it will be the Second and Fifth Saturday of each month. Some months have five weekends and those months we will open on the 5th Saturday also.
We would welcome school groups - we are happy to arrange visits to schools or the schools to visit us.I love talking and helping people learn about herbs. It's probably the most fun I have with our business.We can do educational and informative talks at food venues, festivals and community projects. People can wander through our patch and select the herbs they would like. We hope to run workshops and teach people about what we like also. Cooking with herbs and making handmade cleaning products as well. Cheesemaking, breads and all sorts of things. They are things down the track we hope to do. We love what we do and want to help others share in some of the fun of growing herbs and then enjoying them. "