13 December, 2021
Pittsworth business owners start new venture
It has been announced the owners of Pittsworth’s Country Heritage Feeds have purchased the former Weis ice cream factory in Toowoomba to start a new business venture called Country Synergy.
Having purchased the facility for over $4 million from multi-national company Unilever, who announced the transfer of Weis manufacturing and the subsequent closure of the Toowoomba site in 2019 and produced the last Weis bar at the facility on January 29th this year, the former factory will now be used for storage, distribution logistics and food processing.
As an Australian, family-owned business, Country Synergy will add to and accompany, rather than duplicate, the family’s other agricultural and farming business interests in Inglewood and Pittsworth which currently employ more than 100 people.
The venture is another exciting diversification step for the family group that is passionate about creating synergies between the farmer and the consumer with authentic, sustainable and quality food for all to enjoy.
The new site in Toowoomba brings a wide range of possibilities to connect paddocks to plates offering a range of storage, logistics, distribution and food processing opportunities to explore.
Country Synergy’s Managing Director Katrina Hobbs said the family is excited to be starting this new venture - something which is different to the businesses they currently operate.
“As a local family, we are excited to take on ownership and management of the site and we are looking for opportunities to work with other companies to provide food storage and distribution solutions, as well as offering opportunities for food processing,” Ms Hobbs said.
The family is planning to employ local Toowoomba people in the next year to help run the new operations, bringing significant job opportunities to the Toowoomba district and surrounding communities.
Following the sale of the site, it has been announced that Unilever will be setting aside 25 per cent of the sale proceeds – more than $1 million – to establish the Weis Community Fund which will be used to have a long standing impact in the Toowoomba community and leave a legacy that honours Weis’ 60+ year history and the Weis team’s passion for entrepreneurship, innovation, continuous improvement, and quality agricultural ingredients.
The recipients of the Fund will be announced in the coming weeks.
Keith Head, who was Unilever’s factory director for the Toowoomba site and is now overseeing Unilever’s Minto facility where Weis is being produced, wished the new business and its owners well on behalf of the multi-national conglomerate.
“While we’re officially passing the baton to Country Synergy, we hope the Weis legacy will live on in Toowoomba through the Weis Community Fund and we look forward to sharing more details about the recipients soon,” Mr Head said.
“We wish Country Synergy all the best as they grow their operations in Toowoomba – it’s fantastic to see an Australian family-owned business take the reins of the iconic facility.”
Country Synergy is seeking opportunities to work with interested parties to provide food storage and processing solutions.
The organisation would also consider applications to sub-lease parts of the site.
For more information, contact Katrina Hobbs on 0407 736 299 or email@example.com, or Greg Youngberry on 0429 396 222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.