COVID lockdown has been an interesting time for our region. In the depths of the pandemic, many business owners took the opportunity to fine-tune what they do best and begin a long-held desire for change and improvement.

For Louise Melotte, owner of Café Koukla and Hotel Frangos, it was a time to bring about an idea that had been at the back of her mind. An opportunity to launch a range of delicious treats to remind people of their time in the region.

Tell us about Daylesford Collective and how the idea came about?

About five years ago, on a whim, I decided to sell chocolate freckles in Café Koukla. Much to the surprise of our team, within a week we had sold 200 freckles! Dipping our toe in, we decided to expand our range, and increase our offering in Koukla and also stock it in our hotel minibar. But as demand grew, we decided to launch our own brand and collaborate with regional suppliers and artisans. We had more downtime when COVID hit and decided it was time to launch our own range of Daylesford Collective products.

What is Daylesford Collective?

There is something a bit special about Daylesford. It’s a place to take a break and make happy memories. We found that people who stay with us, want a memento and want to share this feeling with others as a gift. Daylesford Collective provides people with the opportunity to take a piece of Daylesford home, or have it delivered to their door. Every time you snack on our items, you’re reliving your escape to Daylesford.

We’ve spent time developing a range of milk, dark and white chocolate confectionery with everything from chocolate coated nuts and pretzels, chocolate covered raspberries, peanut brittle, liquorice bullets, chocolate honeycomb, freeze-dried strawberries, chocolate freckles and more! You can buy individual items or a gift box for friends.

Our packaging reflects Daylesford. It’s vibrant and colourful, just like us. It’s recyclable and compostable, and our labels are FSC certified. Our ingredients are sustainably sourced with an emphasis on Australian made and grown. We preference local produce and will increasingly source our product locally. Our range is still evolving, and you’ll see some great new additions over the coming months.

Daylesford Collective 2 uai

Where can you buy your Daylesford Collective range?

The products will be available at Café Koukla and Hotel Frangos, you can find us on Vincent Street in Daylesford. They’re also available online at daylesfordcollective.com.au for those who visit and want more delivered to their door. You may have tried here and returned home wanting more, or you want to gift items to others and even as corporate bundles. For a special touch, you can make your own mix on our website, and we can package in gift boxes.

So last thing, what is your favourite in the range?

Hands down it’s our chocolate covered freeze-dried strawberries! The intense flavour of the strawberries is like an explosion in your mouth. Encased in milk or dark chocolate, you can’t stop at one, cause they are so delicious. We’ve had fun sampling all the products with our friends in the research and development phase, and it’s exciting to see it all come together for others to enjoy now.

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About the author

narenna
Narenna Bloomfield, Daylesford Macedon Tourism
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Narenna is a country girl at heart, growing up on a dairy farm north of Bendigo. Now living in Kyneton, (her husband’s hometown) she is a busy mum of three littlies. She loves gardening, baking, photography and getting out and about in the area. A favourite day in the region would be a weekly shop at a farmers’ market, meandering through an open garden and finishing with a dinner in one of the acclaimed restaurants along Piper Street, Kyneton.