16 December 2022

Riverina Made: 'Waste not, want not' is Mates Gully's recipe for success

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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chef peeling

Mates Gully co-owner Paul Nolte. Photo: Visit Wagga.

Who are you and what is your business? My name is Harry Bhangu and I’m the venue manager at Mates Gully Restaurant. Our business is a farm-to-plate, organic zero-waste restaurant. We have a bar and accommodation.

Where did you begin? The venture began at our old farm, Mates Gully near Tarcutta. Paul Nolte and Marcia McCoy started the cafe on the main street nine years ago and they bought this beautiful heritage building and moved the business here.

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What do you produce? We produce seasonal vegies and planted a lot of fruits at our new farm. Our philosophy at Mates Gully is that we don’t like to waste anything. When a product comes from a farm, it always comes in a surplus, and we’re working with Wagga Visitor Information Centre to create a product which showcases Wagga. This is an ongoing project for 12 months, and we will be changing the product every six to eight weeks. We’ve made beetroot relish from our farm, and the next produce we make will be a lime pickle preserve.

Where can we buy your products? At the information centre or just come to our restaurant.

beetroot relish

Mates Gully’s beetroot relish, made from the venue’s farm produce. Photo: Visit Wagga.

What should we buy for gifts this Christmas? Buy our beetroot relish and our gift hampers, which come with the bread, the beetroot relish and pickled cucumbers.

What’s your favourite product that you make? I do love all the pickles, but we made apple cider vinegar, and that’s one of my favourite things.

man with shelves of food jars

Mates Gully venue manager Harry Bhangu. Photo: Visit Wagga.

What would you make if you could do anything? I would make the apple cider and put it on a tab. I think that would be the best thing ever.

How would you promote the Riverina? A place where families can come together and visit really great wineries, venues, art galleries and enjoy the Wiradjuri country.

What’s your favourite coffee spot? Apart from us, I like Thorne Street Cafe.

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Coolest local thing you’ve ever bought? I have bought amazing artwork from weaving ladies at the art gallery.

Who is another local producer you admire? The Wollundry Groves and Shane Cummins, who does the olive oil for us.

What do you want for Christmas?
A lot of bread. A lot of desserts and a lot of champagne.

beetroot relish jars

You’ll relish the choices at Mates Gully. Photo: Visit Wagga.

You can learn more about Mates Gully, or pick up something delicious for Christmas, here.

Region Riverina is committed to celebrating our local producers and creatives and encourages everyone to buy locally.

If you’re aware of someone who’s making something amazing, let us know!

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