Clubs struggling to raise much-needed funds to stay afloat during the COVID pandemic have a new option with 'survival boxes' on offer from Ballarat Mushroom Farm.
The farm-gate sellers struck success with their Fathers Day hampers, featuring produce from the mushroom farm and the more than 20 local producers whose products they sell, and hit on the idea to offer hamper sales through local clubs.
"We were approached by a customer involved with Buninyong Cricket Club who asked if we were interested in putting these packs together. They've got 100 members and it's a different audience than we've targeted before," said Ballarat Mushroom Farm owner Tanya Lunn.
"Then we realised it could open the door for other clubs, sporting or any nature, that need to raise funds to keep themselves afloat so we came up with the survival box."
People will be able to order individual hampers through the club, selecting from a range of goods from local small businesses, with 10 per cent of the total being donated back to the club.
"We settled on survival boxes because the clubs need to survive and have got to find ways outside their normal avenues to raise funds to keep themselves afloat, and we all need food to survive," Ms Lunn said.
The Ballarat Mushroom Farm is a COVID success story in itself, initially starting a small farmgate shop to sell the mushrooms they could no longer sell in to the hospitality industry.
"A lot of people don't know what we are doing here ... trying to get the message out that everyone needs to support local and shop local," she said.
From the first weeks of the farm gate selling only mushroom farm products it has now expanded to sell everything from honey, eggs, milk, dip, cheese, salami, sauce, coffee, and fresh bread on Thursday and Saturday.
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"Sometimes you get a bit blase thinking we are just doing what we need to do, but it's not until other businesses sometimes say you are making a difference to us as a small business ... that gives me goosebumps when I think of what we have achieved in the time we've been running."
The business has expanded so much they are looking to build a permanent farmgate shed because they need the space they are currently using as the shop is needed for production, and they need more space to showcase the produce of local small business.
They've also employed an extra person to help in the shop, and have plans for more staff in the near future.
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