Written by Shaun Ryan
Tucked just off the Bruce Highway near Tinana South is a thriving local business that puts the Fraser Coast on the map – right where it matters most.
Lychee Divine is well-known for its ice-creams but as the only lychee manufacturer in Australia, it has so much more to offer travellers and locals alike.
The business is run by John and Kerry Pool and their son and daughter-in-law.
Having said that though, their grandchildren are also always eager to lend a helping hand on the farm whenever possible!
Lychee Divine is a major drawcard and attraction in itself, acting as one of the first ports of call for visitors to the region.
“Our ice-creams get people off the highway, which is great for us and the rest of the community,” said Kerry.
But after getting out of their cars and exploring the business, eyes are opened to the extensive offering of lychee products and condiments for sale at the winery.
Ice-creams and lychee liqueur are the signature products but there is also a huge demand for sparkling lychee wine, condiments – including chutneys – and Lychee Divine’s range of sauces and vinegars.
The first liqueurs made from 800kg of hand-peeled lychees were bottled in 2010.
All 900 bottles were sold out within six weeks. Let’s just say the operation has expanded from there!
Kerry said they understand the importance of their location in terms of getting people into the community.
“We are a big business but we are always talking about other attractions on the Fraser Coast. We want people who pull over at Lychee Divine to explore the region and drive into Maryborough and Hervey Bay,” she said.
“We ask visitors where they’re travelling to and we share exciting things to do with them.”
Kerry urged locals who have never stopped at Lychee Divine to give them a visit.
The venue is also a place where you can meet with friends or family for a coffee and tea.
“Our shop is a destination and we get many of the local aged care facilities booking day visits for their residents,” said Kerry.
Despite being a well-established business on the Fraser Coast, Kerry said the family was always looking to invest in the business and plan for the future.
Lychee Divine recently moved into a new building – don’t worry it’s located on the same premises – and strategies are always in place to ensure a constant supply of lychees.
Kerry said they freeze up to a third of the lychees grown on the farm so they’re always able to manufacturer their ice-creams, liqueurs and other products – even when the fruit are out of season.
Drop in at the Lychee Divine store at 22473 Bruce Highway, Tinana South or visit their website at http://www.lycheedivine.com.au.