Hills & Coast Grant: D’Estrees Bakery

Funding from the Hills & Coast Business Grant will give D'Estrees Bakery the chance to create a shelf-stable product line to expand sales opportunities and workforce.


Project snapshot


Fleurieu Peninsula

Project contact

Steve Shotton
Regional Development Manager

Alignment with RDA strategy

  • Economic development

Grant Recipient Case Study – 2022 Funding Round

Located on Kangaroo Island, a location with a reputation for abundant wildlife and world-class produce, D’Estrees Bakery is known for their locally produced, handmade sourdough breads and croissants.

D’Estrees bakery goods are currently supplied to local hospitality businesses across the island, and are also available for customers at markets and a weekly pop-up in Penneshaw and Kingscote.

Rising to the challenge of a new product line

To even out the seasonal lows in trade, which had additionally been heavily impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires and COVID-19, Naomi explored the idea of introducing a unique sourdough egg pasta product to her product line. This would use her existing sourdough culture, South Australian semolina, and free-range Kangaroo Island eggs.

Fresh handmade pasta in cardboard display boxes.

To test the market and develop recipes, she ordered a small pasta extruder from Italy in 2021. While the fresh pasta became a hit with locals, Naomi’s goal was to create a shelf-stable product to extend longevity and open new opportunities for employment and sales. By generating a product that could be created in the off-peak season, the bakery could maintain productivity and employees year-round, as well as opening larger market opportunities such as shipping a product that was dried and packaged to other places on Kangaroo Island and even mainland Australia.

Her initial idea was to use existing bakery equipment to dry her pasta. Unfortunately, this didn’t produce the desired results, and it became apparent that purpose-built equipment would be required to explore this avenue further. 

How the grant funding was used

After further research, Naomi found a drying cabinet from Italy that would allow her to dry up to 25kg of pasta at a time, and would also work with the single phase electricity she is limited to in the business.

As a micro-business, building sufficient funds for a significant purchase could take several years. With funding from the Hills & Coast Business Grant, D’Estrees Bakery was able to fast-track the purchase of a dedicated pasta drying cabinet. Funding also helped to offset the cost of freight to Australia, shipping to Kangaroo Island, and installation of the equipment.

What has happened since receiving the grant

The process of acquiring the drying cabinet and getting it in place was quite lengthy. As a result, there has not yet been sufficient time for product production, testing, sizing and packaging for market testing. Naomi is aiming to have production and product testing  underway by September, ready for launch heading into Kangaroo Island’s busy summer season.

Feedback on the Hills & Coast grant process

Naomi had been aware of the Hills & Coast Business Grant from its launch the previous year. She subsequently signed up for the RDA Business Weekly newsletter which alerted to the release of the 2022 round, and had further communications with Regional Development Manager, Sue Arlidge.

Having applied for government funding previously and finding them somewhat overwhelming, Naomi felt the Hills & Coast Business Grant was incredibly simple in comparison. From application to receipt and acquittal of the funds, the process was quite straightforward.

For small and micro-businesses that might be too small for other grants requiring matched funding of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, Naomi found the Hills & Coast Business Grant was small enough to be viable, but still large enough to allow meaningful change.

Strands of fresh spaghetti being extruded through pasta machine.

“If hesitating and wondering if your project is suitable and it’s worth applying – just do it. Believe in your project, and your business, and give it a go. You can only miss out if you don’t try.”

Naomi O’Donnell, D’Estrees Bakery