• Grace Cobb

Growing Goodness

Rebecca Lomman, like many women, met the love of her life at the most inconvenient of times. Little did she know then that he would lead her to the sunshine state town of St George. Or that the people she would meet, and the things she would learn there, would become the cornerstones of Seed & Sprout, her very own store.

ABOVE: Rebecca and Rob Lomman in Seed & Sprout, their fresh produce store in St George, Queensland.

After spending most of her twenties working in finance in London, Bec met Robert just as she had decided to return to Australia. A whirlwind London romance ensued. Luckily it was only a matter of months after Bec came home to Australia that Rob followed.

Working in banking in Sydney, but spending most weekends at Rob’s parent’s farm on the banks of the Balonne River, allowed rural life to take hold. “I was finding it increasingly difficult to return to Sydney on a Sunday afternoon, I was falling in love with Rob’s family, his home and his community,” Bec says.

In 2012 the couple decided to throw in their corporate jobs and make a permanent move to St George. They were married at the Lomman family farm, with friends and family they had collected from all over the world in attendance.

It was then that Bec set to work to find her new passion, including a stint as the town librarian and trying her hand at hardware sales, which Bec openly admits she was useless at. All this while volunteering with the St George Arts Council, the Jockey Club, the Fruit and Vegetable Grower’s Association, as well as working as a committee member for Regional Development Australia (RDA), for the Darling Downs and South-West region.

“I love this town and our broader regional community. I love the people, who have such varied and interesting backgrounds and perspectives, and who have made me feel welcome, supported, and at home from the outset,” Bec says smiling.

It was the mixture of experiences that led Bec and now husband Rob to open Seed & Sprout in July 2016. So what is Seed & Sprout? It is essentially a premium produce business, but a quick look inside reveals so much more. There are shelves of specialty groceries, with organic and gluten free ranges, as well as a variety of delicious quick and healthy food to go; including smoothies, salads, snacks and soups.

ABOVE: Seed & Sprout, St George, Queensland.

“We started with the desire to have access to the freshest, healthiest, seasonal, local and Australian produce and groceries. We didn’t believe that living in a remote, rural community should be a barrier to accessing that,” Bec says firmly.

When in season Seed & Sprout proudly stocks a range of premium produce from trusted local producers; including Black Knight blueberries and grapes, Nindigully free range eggs, and Moonrocks onions, broccoli and garlic.

Seed & Sprout works with the St George Aboriginal Housing Company and the Queensland department of Agriculture to be able to offer the variety of produce grown by the students at St George Primary School.

The couple’s business philosophy is very much tied to involving and supporting the community that supports them. “Both Rob and I are firm believers that a community is only as good as the positive contributions individuals in that community make,” Bec says.

“For that reason, we are committed to supporting local producers, providing opportunities for young members of our community, and creating opportunities for others who may want to start or build businesses in our region.”

“I believe our growing customer base share our belief that we should care about the provenance of our food and the products we use in our homes.”

The couple love being able to play a part in helping the growing Seed & Sprout community make healthy and ethical choices. Also being able to support the incredibly talented farmers and producers who grow and make the wholesome and ethical products they stock.

“We have been so fortunate to have such interesting, incredible and special experiences and opportunities since living here, which I honestly believe we would not have had in our old ‘big city’ lives.”

Sitting with Bec it’s hard to believe a time where St George wasn’t her home, and even harder to fathom that someone so sunny and at ease ever worked in a London bank.

#people #StGeorge #paddocktoplate #freshproduce #smallbusiness #ruralbusiness #ruralwoman