• Written by Emma Kemmery

What is a true foodie? Turning a passion for food into a career? Or going one step further and developing a product for food lovers, and setting up a business that ensures meeting and helping fellow industry experts.

Introducing Simon Hart, a chef by trade who turned his love of food into a love of cooking equipment when he founded Byron Bay Chopping Boards in early 2000.

Simon has spent his 18 year career as a chef working in some of Australia's best restaurants and hotels, including Aria, Sean's Panoroma and Macleay St Bistro.

The hand-crafted wooden boards are not only striking to look at, they are also eco-friendly- something which is very important to the founder.

The chef made the decision to launch Byron Bay Chopping Boards whilst running a pub group in Sydney during the Global Financial Crisis. In this period, Simon noticed a shift in people's attitudes to dining out and instead many people were entertaining at home to save money.

Simon had already began making serving boards for the restaurant's functions and he saw a gap in the market to make dining at home just as much of a treat as eating out.

Simon explained: "I had so much interest and requests for boards of different shapes and sizes that I thought I can really make a living out of making these beautiful boards".

Byron Bay Chopping Boards and its founder started off working at farmer's markets across Sydney to build up a loyal customer base - something Simon still loves to do regularly.

Simon said: "There are very few cons to running my own business, the general juggling act of making sure everything is looked after without getting burnt out is the key!"
"The best things about running Byron Bay Chopping Boards is how much people love the product. That and the fact that I still get to work in the food industry, constantly meeting new chefs and talking about ways to use a product I created in the best industry in the world."

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