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Michelle Legge
Business Journalist

Michelle Legge is the Smarter Business™ Digital Editor. She's the former editor of Hooroo.com by Qantas and contributes regularly to small business, social media and lifestyle publications

Michelle Legge
Business Journalist

Michelle Legge is the Smarter Business™ Digital Editor. She's the former editor of Hooroo.com by Qantas and contributes regularly to small business, social media and lifestyle publications

With a history spanning four generations of smallgoods production, Barossa Fine Foods flies the flag for family business success.

As a teenager, Franz Knoll, managing director of Barossa Fine Foods, worked in his parent's smallgoods business. Fifteen years later, he was ready to break out on his own.

His craft took him from Darwin to Sydney, and then finally to Adelaide where he and wife Barbara saw an opportunity to take over a stall in the Adelaide Central Market.

The Inspiration Journey - Barossa Fine Foods

man in butchers hanging up ham

Quality control

Initially the couple sourced smallgoods from other suppliers, but grew dissatisfied with the level of produce on offer. In their quest for authenticity and quality, the Knoll’s made a course altering decision.

“For a short while we were trying to sell other peoples products but found it wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be; it wasn’t consistent,” says Knoll. “Mum and Dad had a small kitchen here on the farm [so] we decided just to make a few of the fundamental simple products that we could.“We tried to be that extra ingredient, that bit of home, that bit of ‘special’ that people really appreciate”, says Knoll.

Future thinking

Although it took 18 years to reach a critical mass, the family’s commitment to a long-term vision has led to a successful and sustainable business that will provide opportunities for the next generation. In both its past and its future, family plays a central role at Barossa Fine Foods.

“Our work is what drives us as a family because we have a joint goal. A lot of our decisions weren’t necessarily the best business decisions along the way but they were the best family decisions.”

In 2001 the fourth generation of the Knoll family smallgoods makers began work at age 16. Today, Dieter Knoll is in charge of the daily smallgoods production and continues the family traditions.

Lesson learnt: Honesty is the best policy

Barossa Fine Foods is not short on accolades, having been recognised with a bounty of awards, including 500 medals at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Awards, as well as numerous awards at the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards and AMIC State Smallgoods Competition.

23 years of experience has honed Knoll’s perspective on what makes a successful operation. “Value your business well, be honest in your business, if you’re honest people around you have to be more honest,” he says.

“You grow and you learn from mistakes. You grow and you learn from when people say things. And you can’t adapt and change things if people don’t get critique.

“We’re only here for the customer and we try to make that a unique proposition.”

Inspired by Franz Knoll's story?

Discover more about the renowned South Australian smallgoods business here.

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