Page 10 - Food & Drink Magazine Jan-Feb 21
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                                                                                                                                              Sobah husband and wife team, Lozen and Clinton Schultz, are looking to develop Sobah’s site as Australia’s first, full non-alcoholic brew café and commercial brewery.
“It’s another part of constantly looking at how we can better promote the diversity that exists among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and trying to help people understand that we’re just not one big homogenous group,” says Schultz.
“There’s a breadth of diversity that’s beautiful and should be embraced, and we’re trying to find ways to tweak people’s minds around the simplest things, like adapting the can art to reflect products and place, which makes people start thinking about that diversity.”
All of the artwork across
Sobah’srangeiscreatedeitherby Schultz or Aboriginal artists, including Alara Cameron, Jory Murphy and Jeremy Donovan, who designed the new label for the Lemon Aspen Pilsner.
“We source lemon aspen from far north Queensland, which is Kuku Yalanji Country. Jeremy is actually Kuku Yalanji, so has produced the art around the fruit and the story that comes from his country,” says Schultz.
“It keeps people engaged with the company. There are even people out there seeking the product because they’re just as interested in the stories as the beer itself, which is fine by me.
“It brings another sector of the market to what we’re doing and the more people we can engage with, spreads the message and wonders of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia.”
Sobah has now entered an investment round to not only help grow the business, but the size of its home on the Gold Coast. The Schultz’s goal is to establish Sobah as “Australia’s first, full non-alcoholic brew café and commercial brewery”.
“We want to bring all our small-scale production in-house [currently being made in a Tweed Heads-based brewery], so that we can start meeting one of our own agendas, which has always been to increase employment opportunities for marginalised peoples here on the Coast. It would be largely targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, but not just
them,”Schultzsays. “The majority of our team at Sobah come from a marginalised background and struggle with what others may see as a disability or barrier to them engaging with mainstream employment. We want to be able to create employment opportunities and training for them, and that’s been really rewarding to do at the level we already have.”
Sobah – in addition to being a play on words of ‘sober’ – is loosely translated as ‘place of sobriety’ or ‘of more mindful drinking’, with the sound of the suffix, ‘bah’ meaning ‘place of’.
Starting his own journey of sobriety six years ago, as well as calling the Gold Coast home for most of his life, Schultz says it would feel “unnatural for myself, Lozen and the company to be moved from where its home is”.
“We have such an opportunity to create not just a brewery, but a cultural tourism hub, that’s what we want to do, at its full scale. Hopefully when it’s done, we’ll have everything from the brewery and brew café through to an arts and craft space and a healing centre under the Sobah umbrella,” he says. “There’s also a lot more people, particularly young people, who are far more mindful about the origins, purpose and the impact of the businesses they’re giving their money to – that’s been one of the big successes of the craft beer space. There’s also more people now who are willing to support Aboriginal businesses.
“Everything that Sobah is has fallen in the right place for it to work.” ✷
  10 | Food&Drink business | January/February 2021 |

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