Thurlby Herb Farm has grown into a company that is the largest private employer in the Walpole district. The business has risen to the creative challenge of being financially successful, while maintaining a philosophy of ethical, environmental and family friendly values.
Our isolation in rural Western Australia, though very beautiful, poses unique challenges associated with freight and establishing retail markets in the larger cities of Australia. It has taken considerable effort to overcome the reluctance of retailers in Sydney and Melbourne to buy from a remote rural business in Western Australia.
Most of Thurlby products are created on site, at the herb farm in Walpole. Our employees make and label products by hand. Our soaps are produced by artisans using traditional methods. The soap is gently stirred, poured into moulds, cut into slabs and air cured for several months. Botanicals are collected from the garden, dried and mixed in different aromatic blends to be used in our products.
We also employ a loyal band of ‘piece workers’ who work from home, sewing and making products in busy times. This provides casual employment for local people, including mothers and seniors, which helps to support and connect people in an isolated environment.
Our handmade in Walpole products are currently supplied to over 900 retail outlets in Australia and to many countries overseas. The distinctive products of Thurlby Herb Farm with their fragrance of Australia are sold overseas in Tokyo, Singapore and Switzerland.
Whilst developing the wholesale side of the business, the Café and Gift Shop at Thurlby has also grown. Our café has developed a fabulous reputation for simple, creative homemade cooking. Visitors can enjoy fresh gourmet lunches, delicious cakes and good coffee.
Our gift shop is a haven of quality homewares and interesting gifts from around the world. The complete range of Thurlby soaps and aromatherapy products are also for sale.
Tourism to the Southern forests of Western Australia has boomed in recent years, as experiences in a pristine, natural environment has become increasingly rare and appreciated. The Valley of the Giants, Tree Top Walk, not far from Thurlby, has bought much attention to Walpole and the spectacular ancient forests. This has contributed to Thurlby Herb Farm becoming a tourist attraction, although we are largely a wholesale business.
True to our original idealism, Thurlby provides flexible working conditions to fit in with the difficulties of employees accessing medical, banking and other services locally. Country and family life creates many challenges, which Thurlby understands and respects. To offer flexible casual employment in an isolated rural area (which still allows time for your family, or to pursue other interests) is a principle we are proud of.