The Australian Carob Co is owned and operated by Michael and Jam Jolley, and is located in Booborowie, near Burra, South Australia.
Michael and Jam planted their carob orchard from grafted trees in 2000 on a 76-acre block of land. Today there are approximately 6000 carob trees, thriving on the property.
The orchard is home to selected sweet varieties of carob trees. The Jolley's take pride in ensuring each individual tree has the appropriate water requirements and correct pruning year round. The company use sustainable farming practices and no pesticides or insecticides are used on the trees.
The carob pods are harvested in March/April and are taken directly to the manufacturing shed on site. There, they are allowed to dry naturally, ready for processing.
The Australian Carob Co use state-of-the-art machinery to produce the products, including a sophisticated carob kibbler, a large carob roaster and a specially designed carob mill.
"As we do the growing, harvesting, kibbling, roasting, milling and packing all on the property, we can be sure you get a non contaminated product which is Nut Free, Gluten Free and the absolute best quality carob possible. Quality is our number one priority," Michael Jolley.
The Australian Carob Co is dedicated to producing carob products, which are not only healthy and high in nutritional value, but are also full of flavour and taste great.
A gardener with a dream!
Back in 1999 I was working as a gardener - mowing lawns, cutting hedges and pulling weeds, and wanting something more. I started looking at what my wife and I could set up for our future and not have to do back-breaking gardening work forever. A few things came to mind, like planting olives or grapes, but everybody seemed to be doing that already!
During my gardening jobs, I came across a property that had many different varieties of carob trees growing. I had tasted the imported carob before and didn’t like its bitter taste, but what if we were to plant just sweet tasting varieties to achieve a top quality, premium carob product? (When you start with nothing you have nothing to lose). Being young, I took a risk and purchased a 76-acre block of land, ordered grafted carob trees of the sweet variety, and started planting. Since 6,000 trees would fit on the property, that was our planting goal. It was hard work, but when you’re young and have a dream, nothing will stand in your way.
In the year 2000, we hand-planted the first 3,500 trees by digging the holes with a Thai hoe (a Thai hoe is bigger than an Australian hoe) because we couldn’t afford any hired labour or machinery to dig the holes. After a few more years, we planted the remaining trees with the aid of a Bobcat. What a relief!
After 8 years of taking care of the orchard while still working full time, I realized that the trees were ready to start producing carob pods. In order to manufacture anything with the pods, we would need to purchase a carob kibbler and a shed. In 2010, we were able to get financing and had the shed built and kibbler installed. We were now ready to produce and sell some products. We quickly realized that a quality carob powder was needed on the market, as I wasn’t happy with what other companies could offer in the way of milling. It was back to the bank for financing as we needed our own suitable roasting oven and milling plant to do the high standard job I wanted. It wasn’t until 2015 that we managed to perfect our milling operation to produce the finest carob powder possible, while still keeping the taste and quality better than anything else on the world market.
Up until 2013, we filled the pouches by hand with a scoop, which is very slow. We also filled the carob syrup bottles with a jug. Things started getting busy with increasing sales and we found we couldn’t keep up, so in 2013, we purchased a powder filling machine and liquid filler to speed up the process. This really enhanced our efficiency, as my wife and I operate the entire farm and manufacturing facility. In 2015 we purchased specially designed tree shakers dedicated only to harvesting our carob trees. There is only one way to be non-contaminated, Nut-Free & Gluten-Free and that is by growing, harvesting, processing and filling/packing all carob products on our farm and having all machinery that is 100% dedicated just for our product line.
It is amazing how far we have come! From an everyday gardener with my wife assisting and doing cleaning work, to now, where we are full-time working our carob business and producing the only true Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, non-contaminated and best tasting carob products in the world.
It’s amazing what can happen when you have a dream and don’t give up. Dreams do come true!