I love and enjoy supporting talented Tasmanian creators. Let me tell you, Barbara Pippos from Mountain River Yoghurt is one of those creative souls. I had the privilege of meeting her on behalf of the team at Think Tasmania, and now I’m happy to share her story.
Mountain River Yoghurt: Huon Valley
I awoke to a beautiful Tasmanian day. With the recent showers, the air was fresh and crisp. I added an extra layer of clothing, collected my camera and bought a coffee from a divine coffee shop, but that’s a story for another day! With coffee in hand, I began the pleasant journey down the Huon Valley Highway, to meet the creator of Mountain River Yoghurt.
The colours on this journey were amazing due to the rains. Aqua from the Tasmanian Black Wattles and crisp shades of green from the gum trees. I even opened the car window to absorb the sensory freshness of good Tasmanian air.
Coming up over Vinces Saddle, the descent begins into the magical Huon Valley. The Huon Valley Council region is Australia’s most southern government council. Approaching the Grove Shop, I had to veer right. Winding my way along a gorgeous road, I was among green paddocks and cows, and the stunning mountain scenery of Sleeping Beauty. The back of Mt Wellington was peaking through drifts of mystical mist. Driving through Crabtree, approaching Mountain River, I found myself side-tracked by the beauty of the river and stopped to take some photos. And take in a lung-full of fresh Huon air.
Welcome: Mountain River Yoghurt
At my destination, there was a stunning home nestled into the hillside. It blended beautifully with the surrounding bush. I was greeted by Ria, a nine week old Jack Russell, who is the unofficial mascot of Mountain River Yoghurt. Barbara Pippos was close behind Ria, and I felt welcome immediately.
Barbara glows with pride when sharing her story, her love of the Huon Valley and her slice of paradise. We sat down to a cuppa and freshly baked clafoutis made with local raspberries. Our conversation just flowed naturally.
New Home, New Beginning
The Mountain River Yoghurt story began seven years ago, when Barbara moved to Tasmania from South Australia with her husband. They were based at Mount Nelson while searching for a place to call home. Being of Spanish and Italian background, Barbara has always had culinary talent and a strong desire to cook. Preserving and creating food to share with family and friends is her love and passion. Obviously one requirement when choosing a new home then, was readily available and accessible local produce. Mountain River was to be that home.
It’s such an inspirational place to make yoghurt, with so much fresh food around. As well as vast green pastures, natural running water and beautiful bush land, more importantly there’s also a sense of community and a wonderful lifestyle. Barbara is a very talented lady. She speaks three languages and has a background helping migrants settle into Australia. She truly appreciates what it means to be part of a supportive environment. This, along with her natural vibrancy and love of all things Tasmanian, is reflected in the taste of her beautiful yoghurts.
Happy Cows, Happy Customers
Now… about the yoghurts! They are created in small batches, because there is a true science to making them beautiful. A natural flavor and a slightly sweetened yoghurt are used as the base, made with cow’s milk from local producers. I met some of the local cows on the journey down to Mountain River, and let me assure you they look like very happy cows!
Happy cows equals happy milk, which in turn equals beautiful, creamy yoghurt and hence happy customers. All the fruit and honey is locally sourced and while the milk they use at the moment is Tasmanian, they are waiting for Huon Valley Milk to be up and running and then the milk really will be local… from Cygnet. Once a new plant is up and running in Smithton, they will be able to source skim milk powder from Tasmania. “I believe in supporting as many local people and businesses as possible. That’s what living in a gorgeous place like Tasmania is all about” Barbara Pippos says with true pride.
Traditional Natural Yoghurt
Mountain River Yoghurt is sold in a traditional form in medium and large sizes, with the flavours and toppings in a separate container. The base yoghurt then has a longer fridge life and reduces waste. Just use as needed. I can guarantee however, that I won’t be wasting anything! The toppings are…
- Crunchy Nut Crumble
- Mixed Berries
- Cherry & Vanilla
- Spiced Apples
You mix the topping into the yoghurt as required. And in one word, the taste is YUMMO! Not the most technical gastronomical word to use, but a very honest description for good, honest, healthy yoghurt.
Barbara loves the fact that each batch of yoghurt is hand created with true love and fresh produce, which makes Mountain River Yoghurt unique and delightful to eat. The Pippos family has true spirit, and they are inspired each day by their piece of paradise. Tadpole hunting, echidnas at the front door… what a great place to raise a family. And to create yoghurt.
How to Find Barbara Pippos
The yoghurt is sold at the Farm Gate Market in Melville Street each Sunday; and through word of mouth (which as we know is the best form of sale). They also have a Mountain River Yoghurt Facebook page. And stay tuned as a website is currently being created. Barbara Pippos can be contacted by phone or email anytime. You will find her friendly, welcoming and full of knowledge about food, and happy to discuss her yoghurts anytime.
We should all thank Barbara Pippos and her family for choosing Tasmania as the place to come and create Mountain River Yoghurt. And for the record, my favourite is the crumble topping with the natural yoghurt. It’s good. Very, very good.