On Flinders Island – a little gem off Tasmania with crystal waters, clean beaches and craggy terrain – a new store-within-a-store is bringing the best of Bass Strait to one easy destination. Search out A Taste of Flinders – a local flavoured experience.
Jo Youl is the founder of A Taste of Flinders, a marketplace for showcasing seasonal local produce and home cooked delights, preserves, coffee, water and boutique liquors. Jo launched the company in 2015 to promote local makers under a single banner, celebrating what she proudly dubs a paddock, sea and garden to plate philosophy In April this year, A Taste of Flinders expanded from an online store into the real world. Headquartered in Whitemark, your eyes will sparkle and your senses will delight in the treasures to be found within. You can find anything from gin, vodka, sparkling and wine to honey, preserves and ultra-fresh produce, pick up a coffee to-go or grab a quick smoko lunch or dinner – slow cooked and completely homemade.
There’s something pure and raw about the produce found and sold on Flinders rugged landmass. It’s created without fuss or pretension, grown and tended to by regular, hardworking people. It’s beef, lamb, mutton and seafood. It’s chutneys and jams made from apricots, pears and figs. It’s coffee – Furneaux Coffee, to be precise – which has been hand-roasted on the island, using premium green beans sourced from around the world.
Everything in the collective’s repertoire has been handpicked for two reasons: how it’s made and how it tastes. “The thing I love about our growers and gatherers is the breadth of their knowledge – they are so familiar with the island’s terrain and its waters”, says Jo.
“There are only about 800 locals here, and they know the intricacies of the landscape as well as they know themselves. They are not part of giant conglomerates or working with thousands of employees. They run businesses that are personal and respectful of the land. Often, they are just producing a single thing like chilli-stuffed hot sauce, or amazing sticky Manuka honey that comes from hives on the island’s native Manuka shrub. And you know, I think that focus makes for a better product. They have been making the same organic, delicious thing for years, perfecting it every time. The specialisation – I’m so in awe of it.”
“The options we have now are just the beginning”, explains Jo, “Around these parts, King Island is probably known best for local produce. On Flinders we have been cultivating the earth and sea for decades too. It’s about time every visitor treats their taste-buds to the delicacies that the island offers.”
A Taste of Flinders is located next to the Butcher Shop – 3 Walker Street, Whitemark Stop by, say hello and experience what’s in season right now. Top it off with a freshly roasted coffee, home cooked treat or a bottle of wine.