Boutique Food Producer, PR Professional
From her home on a farm in the Clare Valley, Katherine manages both Pangkarra Foods, producer of premium grain-based products, and Lightbulb Media & Marketing, a niche PR business with a food, events and rural bent.
She also freelances as a journalist for publications including agricultural and regional journals and newspapers.
I studied journalism at the University of South Australia and business marketing at TAFE SA.
My early years were spent in a city corporate environment before moving to the farm. I’ve worked as a journalist, public relations consultant and as marketing manager for a local winery.
My husband Jim, a fifth-generation farmer, decided to value-add what we grow on the farm and needed some marketing skills to help start the business. We began by making four pasta lines and now have seven – and we produce wholegrain flour and lavosh crackers as well.
In my PR business, I have about a dozen clients at any one time. I’ve worked on events including the Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend and the Australian International Three Day Event and promoted food producers such as Gelista Premium Gelati and the Australian Carob Company.
We saw an opportunity to tap into a niche food market with our wholegrain pasta. We listened to consumer feedback and developed more products to complement the range.
My smartest decision was moving to the country (although marrying a farmer was the prime motivation!). The traffic jams here are behind a tractor, I see a vista of paddocks from my office window and there’s more variety in my day.
I have real purpose in my life working for myself, our farming family and our future.
I’ve learned that when work and life gets stressful, you need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture – at what you’re achieving.
Quote : "It’s so satisfying to see grain growing in a paddock, progress through the chain, and become a product bought and valued by the end user."