Bundy berry farm launches exotic new ice cream flavour
STRAWBERRIES and ice cream - what more could you want?
How about a dragon fruit and lime combo made from locally grown produce and fashioned into a new ice cream flavour by Tinaberries.
The flavour which is proving popular was an experiment by owner Tina McPherson who used fruit from Prickle Patch Dragon Fruit Farm and Bundy Limes after their supply of mangoes ran out.
Mrs McPherson said the colour of the dragon fruit was magnificent, and the ice cream proved to be a hit with drive-through customers during coronavirus restrictions.
She said while the business had a dip in sales in the early days of lockdown, the strawberry season hadn't started and they were only open on weekends, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been.
But since the school holidays started, the team has been overwhelmed by the response from locals and travellers alike.
Mrs McPherson said about 50 per cent of customers were locals and 50 per cent were from within the drive market - people making the trip up from Southeast Queensland, down from Gladstone and out from the west.
The business owner said Tinaberries had probably tripled ice cream sales in comparison to last year's holiday period, and put the success down to people having the time to get outdoors and explore their backyards locally and regionally.
Mrs McPherson said as there had been no sporting fixtures, weekends had been freed up for families and they were taking advantage of the opportunity to explore Bundaberg.
As the cool weather settles in, that means one thing for fruit lovers - it's the start of the strawberry season.
This year's strawberry season began a little later than usual because Mrs McPherson received the runners late, but she said it was still shaping up to be a good season thanks to cold nights and warm days which helped produce fruit full of flavour.
She said the cooler nights allowed the sugar to set, making for beautiful strawberries.
While Tinaberries are available locally, Mrs McPherson said about 80 per cent of the strawberries went to Victoria, so she was curious to see what impact the southern state's lockdown would have.
She said avocadoes suffered initially because all the cafes and restaurants were closed, but the fate of the local strawberry crop remains to be seen.
Mrs McPherson said while there was certainly still a high demand for the pick-your-own experience - she receives about 17 calls or messages a day about it - there weren't enough strawberries this early in the season to support the demand.
She said the volume of strawberries needed for pick-your-own strawberry adventures was during the season's peak, in mid-to-late August.
Tinaberries is on 15 Zinks Rd, Woongarra and is open from 9am-5.30pm.
For more details, call 4159 3001 or visit their Facebook page.