What began eleven years ago as two friends who owned a single van and shared a common passion for food and wine has grown into a thriving family business that now owns 11 luxury tour vehicles and employs more than 20 staff who operate more than seven different tours, as well as also running a gourmet kitchen, and creating joy through cheese in a delicatessen.
The two friends were Peter (aka Sir Lunchalot) and Jan who wanted to share their love of all things to do with food and wine with visitors to the Hunter Valley. Peter eventually retired to enjoy more lunches than one man ever should, and Jan continues on with his wife Julie to indulge in what Two Fat Blokes is all about – a passion for providing customers with the best wine and food experiences possible and instilling in them a burning desire to return for more.
In 2013 the Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Kitchen and Deli was opened to provide tour guests with a more complete wine and food experience. Since then the Kitchen and Deli has come into its own, offering delicious food and a seasonal menu serving up unique dishes with a European flair. The deli has a huge range of cheeses, smallgoods, and antipasto which at any time can be made into hampers for that perfect picnic amongst the vines.
“It’s first and foremost a family business,” said Claudia who is the Business Development Manager for Two Fat Blokes and also Jan’s daughter.
“Two Fat Blokes has always prided itself on being a front runner with everything we do. We are the only tour company that has its own kitchen and deli, which enables us to have complete control over the guest experience.”
“The kitchen and deli are about good, honest and affordable food – we’re not here to compete with the amazing fine-dining restaurants of the Hunter Valley. Instead, we’re here to make sure that whether you want a quick baguette and a picnic, or a sit-down meal with loads of local and seasonal produce, you can always get something to eat! After all, we’re not called Two Skinny Blokes!” said Claudia.
Many of the products stocked in the deli are their own ‘Two Fat Blokes’ brand, from cheeses to oils, to their own wines. With the aim being to support local producers, they have all their branded products made specially for them by local suppliers. They also stock other brands, with many products being locally sourced and a few being imported from overseas.
“We use local suppliers for basically everything except the cheeses,” said Claudia.
“We love having a variety of cheeses from other parts of the world as there’s bound to be a few people who love certain styles that a certain region does best.”
Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Tours have built on a reputation for always going that extra mile. They provide visitors with a choice of more than seven different tours with each tour incorporating a food experience – whether it be a cheese and wine masterclass, or something more exclusive such as a lunch with a local winemaker.
“We believe it is important to provide for all needs, from the person who only wants an hour experience, right up to the person who knows exactly what they like and just wants to try a certain type of wine,” said Claudia.
“We cater to both private and small group tours, and our itinerary constantly varies – if you’ve done a tour before, you can do the same tour again and almost always have a new and different experience”.
“We also run monthly events at the Kitchen and try to support worthy causes with a portion of the profits going to that cause. For example, our High Cheese event in May has $10 of each ticket sold going to the McGrath Foundation”.
Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Kitchen and Deli are currently located in temporary premises at Harkham Wines in Pokolbin with plans to move into their new ‘home’ on Hermitage Rd within the next 12 months. As well as the onsite Kitchen and Deli, the new premises will also include purpose-built rooms for cheese and wine masterclasses. Also planned are glamping tents which will serve as onsite accommodation.
Check out the Two Fat Blokes upcoming “High Cheese” events on the last Sunday of every month – $75pp including four courses and bottomless bubbles. For more info visit www.twofatblokes.com.au