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LET’S TALK BUSINESS - Wild Thyme Kitchen and 1838 Spirits Co.

This month we caught up with Mapleton-based Kylie Taggart, who owns Wild Thyme Kitchen and 1838 Spirits Co. with her husband, artist Phil Gordon.

By Victoria McGuin

Kylie Taggart’s delicious organic pasta, pizza bases and popular pesto (such as Basil and Macadamia, or Parsley and Macadamia) can be found (if you’re quick!) at the monthly hinterland markets: Montville, Crystal Waters, Witta and Mapleton.

Phil’s Trees and Rain whisky, and his Wild Thyme gin and vodka are also available to order, and to sample through whisky masterclasses and tastings, both of which can be done at their home or yours.

“We also have a liquor licence, so we can cater for parties and lunches,” said Kylie. “I make Mediterranean finger food and tapas, and Phil can supply the whisky, gin and vodka.”

Kylie grew up in New South Wales country towns, Tamworth and Orange. “When I was older, I was interested in art as a student and worked in graphic design for a while before my path diverged into video production.

“Alongside this was an interest in vegetarian food, which led to catering at festivals and working in kitchens in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast.”

Phil was born in Toowoomba, and moved to Tasmania, where he graduated from the University of Tasmania with a BFA, majoring in sculpture and ceramics. As a visual artist, who works in bronze, stainless steel and ceramics, he regularly exhibits at galleries in Brisbane and Hobart.

From 2003 the couple ran Bella Vista Pizza and Pasta in Mapleton for nine years, before moving to Tasmania in 2012 to spend time with their children.

“We’ve returned to the Sunshine Coast now because we wanted to work on our property and hopefully live between the two places, summer in Tassie and winter up here,” Kylie said with a smile.

“I love the cool fresh air and the forest near where I live, and the easy lifestyle of the hinterland.”

While in Tasmania, Phil began running the Nant Whisky Distillery in Bothwell, and Kylie built up the restaurant kitchen.

“I created Wild Thyme Kitchen through my love of good food for gatherings, where I created healthy and delicious food using top quality ingredients, and through sourcing local organic produce, and we had our Wild Thyme Kitchen stall at Farmgate Market in Hobart for five years.”

Back in Mapleton, when Kylie is not prepping and cooking in her commercial kitchen, she likes to paint, listen to music, go hiking or camping.

“Sitting down and reading a good book, or going to lunch is always a treat, having someone else cook for you!”

I asked Kylie what her advice would be to someone starting a small business these days?

“A course in small business management was one of the best things I ever did way back in the 80’s. Also, keep it simple,” Kylie shared.

“My favourite quote by Rusticus is a useful way to look at life, I think - Just do your best, step by step, That’s no small thing.”



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