Yes it’s true Diane and I have finally decided to put Sunnybrae on the market in the New Year.
When we re-opened in 2008 we began a new five year plan and the time has passed ever so quickly. It seems so fitting to be able to describe the culmination of the process in the same forum that began here on this blog five years ago.
Yes it was a hard call to announce as there are so many details but the time is right. Change is exciting. Diane and I have lived here for over 30 years and would be very happy to continue to live here but would also like to pass Sunnybrae on to a younger person, who I am sure could take it to another level.
The holding was originally on four titles since before 1868 but we have consolidated it into three [approx] ten acre lots, with the cottage and restaurant in the middle block. Both empty blocks have good views, current building permits, services of power, water, broadband, etc. in place. Together they offer a lot of choices. Sunnybrae is a sensible sized rural living/commerce property on three small independent connecting parcels of land. .
The restaurant site has the original restored 1868 brick cottage with the restaurant extension, Alan Scott baker’s oven, a large vegetable garden, orchard etc.
The land is fertile deep sandy loam and the paddocks grew lots of Spelt and Kamut last year. The land will grow anything that likes this climate. All 3 blocks have large dams, Barwon Water for when the tanks go dry and power connected to each site for when the solar needs boosting.
There would be a great number of options available for the new owner to be developed here such as more agriculture and or accommodation. The planning permits in place are flexible.
I can see a chef or restaurateur with a young family, who really wants to live on, and from the land. Bring up their kids in a quiet but beautiful environment, close enough to the big smoke to feel part of the zeitgeist as we always have felt.
A real country life with Pellegrini’s [Insert personal Melbourne addiction] an hour and a half away....There are three trains each way daily from Melbourne - Birregurra- Warrnambool. The people are real; development is just beginning to blossom as Birregurra about 2Km away has just recently been sewered. The primary school has a kitchen garden, the doctor is great, the health centre is new, and the locally roasted coffee beans are really very good.
The restaurant holds its own proudly with 2 lunches and one class per week and I think it maybe more profitable than some 7 day businesses are in town. An example of applied sustainable small business economics. A sense of scale. But there is plenty of room for much more commercial activity here even on top of what Diane and I did for 10 years in the first incarnation 1991-2000. We have sustained our lives from the fruits of this property for over 20 years with no additional income and are in good shape. So it’s not a fire sale. We could sell the 2 blocks and be quite comfortable here but feel the need to do something different and let someone else have as much fun as we have had here..
I am very proud of all our past and current staff, some of whom have been with us for many many years. Diane and I would, if asked, help the new owner get acquainted with the fine details of the business and property.