Clare Voitin is a lover of eclectic pursuits. She’s an entrepreneur, ideas guru, avid gardener, published author, marathon runner, farmer’s wife and mother of three boys – her “greatest mates” – and the reason behind everything she does.
Clare is best known, however, as an advocate for honest-to-goodness real food. As the founder and owner of Scarvelli Café in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, she inspires with her eatery’s paddock-to-plate ethos and exquisite, but down-to-earth menu.
Scarvelli uses fresh seasonal produce and grass fed free-range animals from the Voitin’s 80-acre farm on the Bellarine Peninsula in Swan Bay, Victoria. The farm has an eclectic mix of animals, as well as acreage food gardens, grown organically and with a mindset of nurturing the land and enhancing the soils in which their food grows.
Following on from Scarvelli’s success, and in her desire to bring the country to the city, Clare’s latest venture is opening a food providore and kitchen garden in conjunction with the local scouts in the Spring of 2016.
“The Providore” reflects Clare’s passion to “bring the country to the city” and create a greater awareness about where our food really comes from. As a local, Clare has succeeded in creating a community hub through the doors of Scarvelli. Now Clare’s motivation is to take this concept a step further and share her passion for locally sourced, real food by inspiring others to grow their own and realise the benefits in doing so.
The emphasis on ethically grown, sustainable and local is a message that Clare has long wanted to shout out loud. Her personal challenge is to encourage others to grow their own fresh produce so they too can appreciate how real food should taste. More importantly, Clare belives that we should be teaching the next generation the simple art of growing food, something that can be easily achieved in the backyard, balcony or even on a windowsill.
As a child, Clare vividly recalls smelling vine-ripened summer tomatoes in her backyard. Today, she relishes the fact that through the farm, her own kids embrace the entire life cycle of planting, growing and harvesting their own foods. They also understand the life cycle of animals and appreciate the challenges that our local primary producers face.
Down to earth, always on the go, fun, quirky and vibrant (her friends fondly refer to her as ‘chaotic’), Clare is currently writing her second book, “Food for Thought … Love and Life” and her third book is also in the planning phase, due for release in 2017.
Still on her bucket list is to write 50 more books, complete an 100km ultra marathon and talk her family into getting her a donkey and a camel for her next birthday.