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🌸 Founding Story 🌸

We got our start in September 2019 with a social mission to bring native ingredients into as many tummies as we could!

Hayden Marks was 21 at the time with a huge drive to turn his passion for equality and sustainability into a force for change.

People need to eat, and the practises we have in place looked like there could be no alternative. Nature was being mowed down, streams polluted, and animal life being seemingly wiped out. How could a single 21 year old even challenge such an old system?! 

And that's when I uncovered bushfood...

My journey to bushfood 🚗

Being young, I had energy on my side. I called farmers all across the country asking if they knew where native ingredients grew. I sent emails to agricultural societies asking where I could find some.

And it was in a small, cramped, health food store in Melbourne's central business district that I found an old, out-of-date bag of Wattleseed.

Trying not to cry at the premium price, I eagerly ripped open the bag inhaling the sweet smell that was so similar to chocolate, coffee, and hazelnuts. Finding bushfood that really reflects the story of each ingredient didn’t happen overnight.

It started with a chance discovery whilst studying, and took a lot of hard work (and a lot of eating) to bring ethical, purposeful, and sustainably sourced native ingredients to your pantry.

Australia's native plants have fed humans for thousands of years. They provide a rich bounty where alien grains and orchards die. Their nutritional content has been shown to be far superior to modern foods, and offer an exceptional culinary experience.

The more I learned, the more I knew how important bushfood was.

🌼 How We Got Here 🌼

Learning first hand from Aboriginal Communities and hearing their stories, I realized there was a big problem in the native food industry. 

Low quality, corporate food manufacturers were preying on consumers by offering a bushfood flavoured product than contained 0.01% of native ingredients - 

How could you even taste that?

It got worse the more I dug. Even the wholesale suppliers of these ingredients stored them for years-on-end due to the seasonality of bushfood, leading to a flavourless, dull, poor quality ingredient.

How could a 21 year old even fight such an industry?!

I decided to form partnerships instead. That's where we found a vast network of Aboriginal Enterprises, Wild Harvesters, and Small Farmers who had the same passion and love for native ingredients I had. 

They have the respect, kindness to Country and drive for an ethical industry, so we started to work together.

Understanding the importance of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge, we knew we didn't want a business that's sole focus was on profits. 

We wanted an enterprise that gave back social benefits to the producers we worked with - and that's where the idea for Melbourne Bushfood came from.

pics from the past:

Hayden started Melbourne Bushfood from the living room in his apartment.