"The subtle energies of your food,
becomes the subtle energies of your mind"
To live light & lovingly
with health and vitality,
forever sharing knowledge and experiences.
Leaving minimal environmental footprint
by creating with what nature provides
and recycling almost everything!
keeping the family happy, healthy and vibrant
growing a garden of edible goodness
and evolving with grace
Creating healing jars and tonics of natural probiotics,
and sharing with the community is a wonderful bonus!
Penelope is a passionate wholefoods warrior with a flair for fermenting.
She grew up in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs, a family of five with absolute gems of parents, Robbie and Tony. The seed for the love of culinary delights was planted in childhood where a large part of the family diet was raw salad vegetables with an appreciation for sharing fresh wholefoods.
Penelope moved to Far North Queensland in 1998 to work in tourism. Port Douglas became her home, a few years on, she started a family and developed a bare 3 acre lot with numerous fruit trees and vegetable gardens for her growing tribe. Establishing a bed & breakfast accommodation on the property, along with a wedding and corporate event hire company, life got busy very quickly.
Penelope was happiest with her hands in the dirt as were the three kids, running wild and eating beans, tomatoes and broccoli straight from the patch. Forever creating goodness from their garden and local produce, Penelope, much like her mother, enjoyed cooking, never swayed by convenient packaged food in pretty boxes. Many years of self-study on the harmful use of chemically modified foods strengthened her resolve to nourish her children with wholefoods, and to share this knowledge with family and friends.
Journeying through a life-changing separation with her husband in 2013, Penelope shifted her food habits to eating only raw whole fruits and vegetables, not feeling the need for grains, animal products or commercially packaged ‘food’ in her diet, including stimulants. So began an abundant feeling of consciousness, calm and clarity.
Eating living foods makes one feel alive! Penelope believes this gave her the strength to deal with emotional upheaval through a positive and flexible enduring presence.
Penelope’s next big awakening was ‘The Seeds of Life – Raw food & Ashtanga retreat’ in Ubud, Bali. Penelope, Robbie and a few girlfriends, ate their way through Sayuri Tanaka’s recipes of raw food delights. This was it-Penelope’s motivation to spread this awareness of plant based living foods had begun. Later that year, a fortuitous opportunity to attend a fermenting workshop, planted the seed that continues to grow stronger than ever -the seed of fermenting- "it’s like a bug," says Pen, "ha ha!"
Having always felt confident to combine flavours and develop recipes, her options are boundless and diverse. Penelope now presents 12 staples of fermented vegetables at the local community farmer’s market in Mossman, and enjoys experimenting with new ones. Supplying commercial health food shops has been a bonus for the far north, as Kefir Queen starts to spread her wings.
What sparked the interest so intensely for Penelope was the pure joy of creating natural medicinal healing foods and tonics from her home and sharing this with the community. ‘Kefir Queen’ began in early 2014 when Penelope was unconsciously supplying close friends and school mums with fermenting delights. As the customer base grew so did the intention of making a living out of this passion.
Kefir Queen is a sustainable business using recycled glass donated by the community. Jars and bottles are sterilised and filled with ferments to sell at the weekly market in Mossman, where local growers come to sell their produce. Food is fresh and abundant, while marketeers are in their element happily sharing and relaxing under the rain trees. Tropical North Queensland is a mecca for fresh local produce, with immaculate growing conditions on the Tablelands and on the coast. Mossman is the greatest farmers' market of the far north.
Kefir Queen creates the happiest ferments out of locally grown cabbages and root vegetables which helps support our farmers and support the health of our community.
Kefir Queen stall has grown to be quite an artisan collection, incorporating locally grown moringa powder & tea and traditional fermented sourdough. Along with her supply of sauerkraut and kimchi, annatto oil, salad sprinkles, kraut & tahini dressing, kimcheeze, water kefir, kombucha, culture kits and raw treats. The latest addition is a tasting plate where you get to try a little of everything which is fermental as anything!
Along this life changing journey Penelope has assisted Ben Richards from ‘The Seeds of Life Cafe in Ubud, Bali; facilitating fermenting workshops and supporting the students in their confidence with fermenting during their ‘Raw Chef Certification’ two week training. Throughout the trainings she absorbed Ben’s enlightening experiences and vast knowledge of the tremendous benefits of plant-based living. This opportunistic involvement, along with hosting workshops in her home town of Port Douglas, provide Penelope with the integrity and passion to continue to spread love and awareness of fermented and living foods wholeheartedly.
It’s not just about food, it’s about being part of a conscious lifestyle, plant based living is the new wave of evolution both mentally, spiritually and physically incorporating a vision for our future by connecting us back to nature.
It is a long term investment for your body and soul.