Can you give us a little bit of background as to the origins of Byron Bay Chopping Boards and how it came to be a fundamental part of your life
Byron Bay Chopping Boards was established in early 2000 by myself, chef Simon Hart. Travelling through the beautiful hinterland in Byron Bay, I saw camphor laurel wood was being used as chopping boards, due to its powerful anti-bacterial qualities.
Excited about this wood's unique properties, I then began making chopping boards for myself, fellow chefs and friends. This "interest" quickly became a passion and these boards are now used in many of Australia's top restaurants, sold in retail outlets as well as markets such as Kings Cross Markets.
The wood is sourced in a sustainable manner from the Byron Bay hinterland where once selected due to its grain quality, it is then handcrafted into a durable and professional quality chopping board and/or presentation platter.
We are also proud to be Australian owned and operated and practice eco friendly and sustainable business practices!
Where do you source your wood from and is it done in a sustainable and eco-friendly way
The camphor laurel tree is a large evergreen tree which can grow up to 20m in height, has leaves which are glossy and waxy and smell of camphor when you crush them.
This is a 100% eco friendly timber which we source from around the Byron Bay area.
We will always look at the timber and let the grain of the wood guide us in to how we make a special piece.
What has been your biggest seller to date
We have such a big range of boards from mini's (which are really popular), classics (which are the same sizes with either red cedar or silky oak handle) and have some boards which are as big as 700/800mm x 500mm
Sometimes we even put some crystals in the knots of the timber!
You sell your boards at a few of our markets. Have you noticed any predominant preferences depending upon the locale
I don't think I have found a pattern as yet, but we do get such a great mix of locals, overseas visitors and interstate visitors it's all good in our books!
Market life can be a little "difficult" at times (ie. raining cats and dogs or heat like no other), what is it that keeps you coming back
We love outdoor conditions, being amongst the trees, talking to everyday people, getting feedback from customers, talking about food and recipes etc.
The Organic Food Markets brings very food conscious types who love to cook, so when you great produce it's great to use a nice eco-friendly chopping board to go with your beautifully prepared food!
Not only can you find Simon and his amazing range of boards, bowls and more at our markets, he will explain how to care for it and even wrap it up (in an eco friendly way naturally!) if you ask nicely!