Q & A – Lauren Stevensadmin
Local favourites, sharing their insider tips on places and things to do on and around Tamborine Mountain – Your gold coast hinterland!
Off The Farm is a locally owned and run business in Canungra. Owned by Garry Hall, managed and run by Lauren Stevens, this little venture supports and uses only local and Queensland-grown produce.
What did you do before opening your business?
Before deciding to start a produce shop , Garry was/is a builder by trade. Lauren was/is a social media, public relations and events manager.
How would you describe Off the Farm?
We support local business, employ friendly staff, always fresh… lots of new and exciting items coming into the store daily. We have lots of new and inspiring things over the next few months, so watch this space –
What is it about your business that you love? What makes your business stand out from other, similar businesses? Is it a business that gives you satisfaction?
As manager, I love the interaction with the locals, I love getting to know everyone, their individual traits and the kids’ little personalities. Customers also get a kick out of knowing when they walk in, that I know what smoothie or juice they’re buying.
Our business stands out from the others because we support local. We only use QLD produce if we can’t get locally grown. We stock lots of products from locals, ranging from honeycomb, peanut brittle, beef jerky, herbs/spices and rubs, finger limes, milk and dairy, beef, a whole fridge of vegan range, raw and smoked garlic, and our honey is from the hives on Garry’s farm. Can’t get any more local than that!
What challenges have you had in business over this period of time?
Like all business, COVID-19 and lockdowns affected us, but we managed by offering home delivery and by staying open later hours to assist with essential workers needing fresh food.
What is the most bizarre or funny thing you have encountered in your business?
Fruit in the shape of odd and peculiar things: use your imagination. We had a pineapple named Wilson at one stage.
If you were not doing this, what would your ideal job be?
Retired in the Maldives – Professional sleep tester?
Interesting facts about yourself?
I’ve survived a sliced jugular. My anterior jugular was sliced inside from a previous surgery complication; had it been externally, I wouldn’t be here telling my story.
I also have very long fingernails and get comments every day… but I’ve had them long for over 20 years, so they are now just a part of me, I can’t function without them.
What do you do for fun?
I (Lauren) love stand-up paddle boarding, camping, beach days, anything outdoorsy, but I also love wine nights with friends, eating out and being in the company of good people.
Garry is an avid car and truck enthusiast, who loves wakeboarding and water-skiing; he loves his camp fires, but also his relaxing nights at home.
Do you take holidays and if so, is there a favourite destination or activity?
I mainly holiday to Sydney, as my dearest friends are there (I’m originally a Sydney girl), but a weekend on the Gold Coast is an amazing stay-cation!
I’m that friend you probably shouldn’t sit next to at a serious function: I dance like no one is watching, ’cause no one usually is, but I do get caught singing in the shop a fair bit.
I believe being beautiful has very little with how you look. Beauty comes from within.