Naomi Ingleton has been craving her own product since she put her award-winning butter making on hiatus with the closure of the Myrtleford Butter Factory 12 months ago. Reborn last week as the King Valley Dairy, the naturally cultured small batch butter - deemed by many chefs to be Australia's best - is finally back, with bigger premises meaning bigger output and a larger product line.
"The butter is delicious. It tastes even better than in Myrtleford," says Ingleton. "Maybe it's because I haven't had it for 12 months. We've had to go out and find other butter, which was a trial."
Relocating her business 50 kilometers away to the King Valley was a "mission" but Ingleton believes she's found the perfect site in the historic butter factory in the small town of Moyhu. Repurposed after it closed in the 1950s as a truck maintenance depot and a winery headquarters, the factory needed a complete makeover but a year's worth of renovation pain means Ingleton can now produce a broader product line including ricotta and other buttermilk products currently being developed. The factory also has room for a café, tasting room and smokehouse, but most importantly, it can produce in half a day what Ingleton could achieve in a week - and a good one at that - in Myrtleford: "It makes us the largest premium, naturally cultured butter producer in Australia, and it means that finally we can keep up with customer demand."
A boon for tiny Moyhu, population 400, with the creation of 10 full-time jobs, Ingleton plans to grow the King Valley Dairy into a tourist magnet with classes in butter making and bee keeping, a permaculture garden and orchard. "Six and a half acres, right on the King River… it's absolutely beautiful."
King Valley Dairy, 107 Moyhu-Meadow Creek Road, Moyhu, 1300 319 766, kingvalleydairy.com.au