With its new facility in place, Coastal Hydroponics is set for significant business growth. After their early financial setback, however, the couple are cautious.
“I want to know that every leaf we grow has a home before we plant it or invest in it,” Belinda says. “I want a contract. I’m all about comfortable, incremental growth. You can’t put a business under too much pressure.”
Today, the business produces a broad range of salad leaves and herbs, supplying up to 28 tonnes of product per week to 170 Coles stores across Queensland. It employs about 50 people across two sites, in order to make sure fresh product is delivered on time to stock supermarket shelves.
The next step for the pair is investigating entering the global marketplace and export opportunities.
“I’ve been working with NAB very closely on the exports and am thrilled by their dedication to the business, in terms of their willingness to support and assist us wherever we need it,” Belinda says.
There are plenty of opportunities for the future. In 2016 Belinda and Paul attended Asia Fruit Logistica, a specialist annual trade show and conference event for the Asian and international fruit and vegetable business, for research.
“Some export opportunities are very hit and miss and can be very short term,” Belinda says.
“For us, it’s about finding the right opportunity that’s going to be long term with significant growth, so that it warrants the time and investment.”