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Episode 52 - Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory

We are about to meet a wheat, spelt and barley farmer, turned factory owner who has made the little town of Junee in NSW a tourist attraction. How else but with the transformation of an abandoned mill built in 1935 into the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory. And the most recent addition to the family business is the Corowa Distillery Co, making whiskey from their own barley. If you’re still looking for some Christmas stocking fillers – look no further – these locally made treats are the real deal. But it wasn’t an easy ride to find the perfect recipe. To learn more, owner Neil Druce discusses:

  • We find out if Neil’s favourite place is on the farm or in the factory.

  • Neil shares the beginnings of the farm by father Alan Druce and the outlandish decision to become organic farmers in 1962.

  • Turning a five-storey old flour mill, built in 1935, into a tourist attraction open to the public.

  • The local reaction to this large project and, how Neil has gained the trust of the community.

  • Flour is a key ingredient in licorice and the process of making this treat.

  • Fast forward to now and the factory produces chocolate and licorice 5 days a week.

  • How to stand out in a saturated market – Neil says, ‘Do something well and become famous for it.’

  • Neil’s son Dean wanted to continue diversifying the grains and started to distil Whisky.

  • The story behind the Corowa Distilling Co being asked to make Whisky for the Queen on the Platinum Jubilee!

  • The meaning of ‘courage’ for Neil and how it pushes him in his life.

  • The most unexpected thing to happen was being asked by Denmark for his organic licorice secrets.

  • Most common misconception involved in running tourist attraction sites.

  • The ultimate dream for the future of Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory

We hope to see you back on the road soon, to learn more about how Australia grows on the next episode of Australian Farmers with Angie Asimus.



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