For Sally Tulloch, muesli is more than a breakfast option, and breakfast is more than a meal. She believes that sharing a healthy flavoursome breakfast is a celebration of family, which is why she and her husband Scott set up Farmer Jo, a business providing hand-made muesli after their older daughter Olivia was born.
“I was looking for a business opportunity I could juggle with parenthood, and Scott suggested muesli,” Sally said. “We both love muesli and we thought it would be exciting to create our own flavours and healthy combinations.”
Sally and Scott managed to offset the financial risk by funding much of their equipment through Silver Chef, the hospitality equipment funding company. “Cash flow was a big issue for us in the beginning,” Sally says. “Silver Chef allowed us to grow without an excessive outlay of cost. They helped us realize it was possible.”
Now Farmer Jo is a thriving business, with muesli stocked in select gourmet food stores across Australia. It can also be ordered online for home delivery or purchased directly at Sydney markets on the weekend.
“We sell a lot of our muesli at the markets, and it is extremely rewarding to talk directly to our customers, as they will request certain food combinations. It’s always a great conversation – I love hearing people’s ideas.”
One of the unique features of Farmer Jo muesli is that all the ingredients are treated separately before being blended together. Traditionally, toasted muesli is made by toasting all the ingredients together, but Farmer Jo’s method ensures that all the varied ingredients retain the integrity of their individual texture and flavour.
Farmer Jo’s central location is in Hutchinson Street, Surry Hills. The muesli is cooked on site daily, so locals can smell the tempting aroma wafting along the street.
Customers can take a seat on a milk crate to be served little pots of muesli with their choice of yoghurt and fresh fruit.
“People don’t always realise they can over-eat muesli,” says Sally. “I recommend serving it is with the fruit at the bottom, then yoghurt, with the granola on top as a topping. The recommended amount is about 70g or half a cup, as it is quite filling.”
For out-of-area customers, Farmer Jo accepts online orders and ships products around Australia without charging for postage. Choose from hazelnut and dark chocolate orange toasted muesli, spiced three-grain porridge, pineapple and quinoa crunch gluten free muesli, or many other varieties.
Don’t become too attached to one flavour though – many of the blends are seasonal, so you might have to wait for your favourite to return next year.