Monthly Archives: June 2012

Community Engine gives $100,000.00

Putting business back into the community and getting the community back in business

Byron based social commerce site wants to show off their community building tools. But instead of buying ads they want your help to donate $100,000 to local community groups and charities. is a website to help small businesses and community organisations

  • Find new customers and members
  • Stay in touch with existing customers or members by sharing news, photos etc
  • Sell goods and services online, including special offers

For everyone else it’s a personal guide to news, information, products and services from businesses and community groups they are interested in.

This year community set up shop inByronBay.  “Northern Rivers residents have held on to their village values in an increasingly global economy so it was a natural place to start the Engine” outlined CEO Warren Lee.

“It seemed to us that for many small businesses, traditional marketing tools like the Yellow Pages weren’t enough anymore, yet most online tools were too complicated, too expensive or both. So we set out to make it easy for businesses and community groups to promote and sell online in a way that also reinforced a sense of community. We like to say we are putting business back into the community and getting the community back in business. Ultimately, we want to make that possible for everyone, everywhere – online”.

Almost 1,000 Northern Rivers businesses and organisations have signed up to already. The tool is free to use with only a small fee for processing payments (4.5% for community groups, 6.5% for business).

So to say thanks to the Northern Rivers and to encourage others to join, has put their advertising dollars back into the organisations at the heart of everyday life. They are giving $100,000 to local community groups and charities in a campaign which kicks off Tuesday June 3rd.

What do you need to do to get a share of the $100,000 for your group?

  1. Go to and claim your free organisation or business profile, or
  2. We can do it for you. Call us on 1300 266 686, come by the shop at 1 Byron St, ByronBay, or email
  3. Click to register for the campaign.
  4. If you’re a community organisation in the Northern Rivers (Tweedto Grafton) gather followers for your group on community engine
  5. If you’re a business choose an organisation to support and start gathering followers for your business on community engine
  6. Then tell everyone – post it to Facebook, Tweet it, put up signs, whatever. Just start collecting as many follows as possible on your claimed community engine profile.
  7. Community engine will donate $1 to your nominated group for every follow you collect above a minimum of $50 and up to $5,000 per group.

“It’s a case of first in” said Warren Lee, “so I encourage all businesses and community groups to get on the engine and start raising money, we’ll keep giving until the money is gone. We hope that once you’ve seen for yourself how easy it is to stay in touch with what matters to you on community engine, you’ll want to stick around”.

Bangalow to again host Sample Food Festival

Following the staggering success of the inaugural Sample Food Festival – A Taste of Northern NSW last year, which attracted an estimated 10,000 visitors, the celebration is on again in 2012.

October 6th will see the Bangalow Showground filled with restaurant stalls and exhibitions from the region’s finest food producers. Scarlett Affection is just one of many live acts performing throughout the day, entertaining guests and food celebrities aplenty.

There will again be cooking classes, the morning farmers’ market, a vibrant childrens’ entertainment program and the highly coveted Golden Fork Award for the best tasting plates. Judges Simon Thomsen, Ben O’Donoghue and Belinda Jeffery will determine the winners of the best $5.00 and $10.00 plates.

Now officially a part of the Crave Sydney International Food Festival, the Sample Food Festival has introduced a suite of new offerings including

Sample Launch Pad  See some of Australia’s favourite food identities launch new products, including the release of Belinda Jeffery’s much anticipated book Desserts.

Plumm Wine Experience  Come glass to glass with celebrated sommelier Matt Skinner, the young darling of the wine industry and sommelier to Jamie Oliver. $55 including wine, cheese and a take home pack of four Plumm wine glasses (valued at $120).

Spice Lunch Join Rockpool’s Sarah Swan, Town’s Karl Kanetani and Seaweed Cuisine’s Monique Gutteres-Harrison for an exquisite festival lunch. $75 for two courses including wines.

Farmers Market Breakfast with Ben O’Donoghue. Free.

“Due to the popularity of the food stalls last year, this year we are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner” said Festival Director Remy Tancred. “So guests can savour the tastes of our abundant region while kicking back on the grass listening to great live music or enjoying a drink from Plumm Wine Glasses in our Sample Bar”.

Food producers from the local region who are involved in the Sample Food Festival 2012 include Brookfarm, Byron Bay Coffee Company, Bangalow Cheese Company, Tridosha – Salt of the Sea, Duck Creek Macadamias, Lentilicious, The Farm Gate Providore, Red Dragon Organics, Ginger Nectar, Mullumbimby Magic Foods and Zest Byron Bay.

Sample Food Festival, 8:00am – 8:00pm Saturday 6th October 2012, Bangalow Showground. Featuring Matt Skinner, Ben O’Donoghue, Simon Thomsen, Belinda Jeffery, Sarah Swan, Karl Kanetani, Monique Gutteres-Harrison, Steve Snow and over one hundred of the region’s finest food producers and restaurants.

Photo downloads:

Photo #1 – Matt Skinner, taking part in Sample 2012
Photo #2 – Scarlett Affection, performing at Sample 2012
Photo #3 – Tridosha – Salt of the Sea’s Senaka Harriman at Sample 2011
Photo $4 – Annie Ivanovich from Byron Bay Coffee Company at Sample 2011

Food celebs thrilled by delicious weekend

Spirits soared while the rain poured at the delicious Weekend, held over the June long weekend at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa. Guests flew in from all over the country to attend the three day celebration of food and wine.

Martin Boetz, much adored Chef from Longrain Sydney and Melbourne attended the event, cooking for guests and joining in the festivities. “I’m all about home grown produce, so I’ve brought with me my Head Chef Louis Tikaram, who was born and raised in Mullumbimby” he said.

Louis took Martin to the Mullumbimby Farmers Market last Friday, where he “found some very prickly fruits that peeled like a pineapple and tasted like a cucumber”. “I also saw some fantastic pickled cabbage and fermented product in jars following the Nourishing Traditions cookbook by Sally Fallon, and some tasty sugarless cake” said Martin. Following the market Martin had lunch at Mullumbimby’s Rock and Roll Cafe with Louis’ parents. “I ran into three people I know at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market” said Martin. “What an amazing place! It’s the best market I’ve been to.”

Food producers featured throughout the weekend include Brookfarm, Donna Harper’smushrooms, Rainforest Foods, A Bit of Byron, Imogens Farm Winery and Australian Bush Spices. Guests visited Harvest Cafe, the Bangalow Farmers Market and The Farm Gate Providore and were fed at The Byron at Byron by Head Chef Gavin Hughes, delicious Food Editor Valli Little, Martin Boetz, Katrina Kanetani from Bangalow’s Town and Andy Gordon from The Top Shop.

“The delicious. Weekend at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa surpassed all our expectations” said Trudi Jenkins, Editor in Chief of delicious. “The trip to The Farm Gate was a real highlight of the weekend as readers were able to meet the producer and sample the amazing produce of the Northern Rivers Region on location. The gala dinner was a stunning evening bringing together four leading Chefs with the exceptional hospitality of The Byron at Byron team.”

Image #1 – Louis Tikaram (Longrain), Gavin Hughes (The Byron at Byron) and Martin Boetz (Longrain)
Image #2 – John and Lyn Parché, General Managers of The Byron at Byron (far left) with delicious Weekend guests at The Farm Gate near Bangalow
Image #3 – delicious Magazine Food Editor Valli Little with Martin Boetz and Louis Tikaram
Image #4 – Daniel and Lilly Hill, from The Farm Gate near Bangalow
Image #5 – Trudi Jenkins, Editor in Chief of Delicious, with daughter Olivia


Byron Bay’s premier tourism portal has released a huge range of hot winter specials for the hip coastal town. From beach shacks to apartments, luxury homes and five star resorts. Deals like

$750 for seven nights at Avalon, a modern two bedroom apartment at Belongil Beach
$950 for seven nights at charming Abaccus House, a one hundred year old 3 bedroom residence
$285 a night for two people at the multi award winning Byron at Byron Resort and Spa

Activities and restaurants are also on sale.

“Winter in Byron is great” said’s Rick Slater. “Everybody is relaxed, you don’t have to book your favourite restaurant and there are more opportunities to get involved with what’s going on locally”. turns 15 this year, which makes them older than google, youtube and facebook. “15 years is a long time online” said Rick Slater. The website enjoyed 1.1 million visitors over the past twelve months, representing 204 different countries. The site does not take any commission on bookings.

“ is consistently our leading referring website” said Kerry Gunther, Sales and Marketing Manager at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa.

For further information, interviews or images please contact Caroline Desmond
02 66875674 0415 499429