Stephen and Michelle Fry (pictured below) are the owners of Santaleuca Sandalwood Products.
They have a passion for conservation, farm forestry and minimal chemical use farming. Their 200 acre plantation of Sandalwood is in between the Western Australian wheatbelt towns of Narembeen and Bruce Rock. It is the home of Santaleuca Sandalwood Products and was established in 2004. The plantation also includes species such Broombush, Sheoak and Acacia. These varieties are native forestry species in their own right or act as symbiotic hosts for the parasitic Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum).
The plantation was initially established to provide a retirement fund for Steve and Michelle. But that didn’t quite go as planned!!
Many of their seed clients were forestry companies who were buying seed in bulk to establish Sandalwood plantations on a much bigger commercial scale. Once those trees started producing seed, the cost fell quite dramatically. The great GFC (Global Financial Crisis) hit in 2008 and these companies collapsed. The Sandalwood seed business, which until then was booming with growth and opportunity, was almost extinguished in a matter of months.
Santaleuca’s trees were now brimming with nuts and the brainstorming started as to how to find a profitable use for them. Long story short, Steve and Michelle experienced a light bulb moment, they did some taste tests, cooking tests, found a nut cracker up to the job and had the nuts analysed for human consumption. In 2011 Steve and Michelle established Santaleuca Sandalwood Products and started selling nuts for you to eat.
Santaleuca Sandalwood Products is a relative newcomer on the food product scene. We are still making friends and acquaintances with businesses around Australia and internationally, trying to get our name out there and discovering new avenues for distribution for this product that is unlike any other.
We are the leaders in developing a Sandalwood Nut food industry. It is following closely on the heels of Australia’s first native nut industry, the Macadamia, and we hope to be just as successful. There is an opportunity here to develop a new form of primary industry in Western Australia’s struggling wheatbelt.
If you would like to discuss distribution, sales and marketing opportunities, or have any the questions about the industry, please contact us.