by Eliza Goetze
WHAT could be better than locally made feta?
All your cheese dreams can now come true with the opening of a shop dedicated to dairy and deli delights in Childers.
The Cane Fire Cheese House is the lifelong dream of Peter and Rosa Eschbach, who moved to the town four years ago from Canberra.
The couple opened the doors on Friday and Mr Eschbachs said the town had a big appetite.
"It's a great feeling and the local support has been absolutely fantastic,” he said.
"The idea came from when Rosa and I were thinking about moving up here from the ACT and thought, 'What will we do when we get there?'”
Cane Fire has replaced the Collective gift shop next to the Paragon Theatre and construction is underway for a commercial kitchen where the Eschbachs will make their own cheese.
"The wife and I did a cheese course and we've made lots of feta and brie and given it to people around town and got the thumbs up - everyone loved it,” Mr Eschbachs said.
"We've got our hearts set on all sorts of cheeses.
"People we know have already offered us their commercial kitchens, so we'll start with feta and brie and then move on to some hard cheeses.”
In the next two to three months Rosa hopes to fulfill her dream of making chocolate, too.
"We're planning a trip to Bali to source (cocoa) nibs - from a small farmer's crop over there,” Mr Eschbach said.
For now they are selling cheeses from around Queensland including Maleny and Kenilworth and are on the hunt for more suppliers.
"We're trying to source other cheeses (including) goats and sheep cheese.”
They are also keen to join forces with other local artisan producers, already stocking Curry Talk spices from Torbanlea and jams from Localicious.
"Down the track we've got people setting themselves up for making sauces, salts, olive oil,” Mr Eschbach added.
"We've also got salamis from Brisbane, (Biggenden farm) Backfatters bacon and ham, and local honey.
"It's our little local deli.”
It is a big career change for Mr Eschbach, who works part time as a cleaner for Bundaberg Regional Council, while Mrs Eschbach still works full time as a nurse.
The couple moved to Childers after falling in love with the spot on a road trip.
"We were driving this way to a wedding in Cairns; we stopped in and thought, 'What a lovely little town',” he said.
"One night on the way back turned into four nights.
"We visited Bundaberg, went whale watching, and started looking at real estate.
"We couldn't believe how cheap it was.
"I can't believe how good Childers has been. We've been here four years and we are part of the community - we've made great friends and had great get-togethers.
"Wine, cheese, music and people - it's a good combination.”
Local producers are invited to contact Mr Eschbach to discuss selling their products at the deli.
Find Cane Fire Cheese House at facebook.com/