From hobby farm to thriving enterprise

Heidi and Dave Boyd were initially overwhelmed when they found themselves the owners of a Coonawarra property with 1600 olive trees and hundreds of lemon and cherry trees.  

What was meant to be a simple venture of owning a few sheep and growing vegetables after their children left home turned into something much bigger. Determined to make the most of their unexpected bounty, Heidi and Dave decided to try their hand at harvesting olives and producing their own extra virgin olive oil.  

“After having our beautiful family, we decided we wanted to do something for us so we purchased a property in Coonawarra to run some sheep and grow our own veggies.  A couple of years in our oasis, we thought we would have a go in harvesting all those olive trees and make our own extra virgin olive oil,” Heidi said.  

Over the course of six years, Heidi and Dave turned their passion into a thriving enterprise called Confido Coonawarra, a name inspired by their family crest motto, “I Trust.” Equipped with an olive harvester, an olive oil processor, and a range of eight products, Confido Coonawarra began gaining traction in local markets.  

However, as neither of them had any experience running a business together—Heidi worked in finance while Dave had an engineering background—they sought assistance from IntoJobs’ Self Employment Assistance program in Murray Bridge to help turn their hobby farm into a viable business. 

Self Employment Assistance, delivered by IntoJobs and supported by Mas National (both part of the IntoWork Group), offers practical and confidential guidance and support on all aspects of starting and running a small business – from coaching, registering business names, website domains, business plan development, mentoring, and setting up an ABN through to financial, marketing, and strategic advice. 

Services are designed to offer maximum flexibility and are tailored to individual business needs, with training delivered by highly qualified and highly experienced business coaches across a range of industry and service-based professions. 

Heidi completed IntoJob’s eight-week training program, which equipped her with the skills to develop a high-quality business plan and two-year financial projections. She also entered into a Small Business Coaching agreement, benefiting from regular mentoring sessions with IntoJobs Business Navigator Stephen Chapple. With the support of Stephen and the Self Employment Assistance Program, Heidi made the bold decision to leave her full-time job as Finance Manager of a winery to focus on their new business.

“We have never run our own business before, and there were times when we thought we had taken on something too big to handle,” Heidi said. “But the support we received and continue to receive has given us the confidence and reassurance that we can do this, and we are.” 

IntoJobs Business Navigator Stephen Chapple said Heidi was a wonderful example of someone who has transformed a concept into a thriving business, “Her commitment to learning and personal development has been outstanding, and the business is steadily progressing according to her plan,” he said.  

Thanks to the assistance of IntoJobs’ Self Employment Assistance program, Heidi and Dave Boyd have successfully turned their olive oil business into a flourishing enterprise. With their newfound confidence, Heidi and Dave have ambitious plans to open their property to visitors, offering unique experiences such as Olive Oil Tasting, Harvesting/Processing, and Cooking with Olive Oil. Their aim is to showcase the exceptional produce of South Australia’s Limestone Coast. 

In addition to selling their products through various retailers, Heidi and Dave continue to actively participate in local markets. They have been overwhelmed with the positive response they have received from their customers, “We are looking forward to showing how wonderful the Limestone Coast of South Australia is and what it can produce,” Heidi said. 

Learn more about Confido Coonawarra and their range of olive oil products.

Learn more about IntoJobs Self Employment Assistance program.

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