Tourism gongs for local operators

Piper Street Food Co’s Damian Sandercock. Picture: Shawn Smits

Central Victoria’s reputation as a premier food, wine and tourism destination has been boosted, with Sunbury and Macedon Ranges operators picking up a swag of trophies at last week’s RACV Victorian Tourism Awards.

Gisborne Peak Winery’s eco-cottages secured the silver award for ‘unique accommodation’; Isabella at Kyneton took out silver for ‘self-contained accommodation’; and Piper Street Food Company won the silver prize for ‘new tourism business’.

Sunbury Visitor Information Centre (silver for ‘visitor information services’) and Melbourne Airport (gold for ‘outstanding contribution by volunteers’) were also recognised.

Piper Street Food Co’s Damian Sandercock said the Kyneton business, which late last year opened a cooking school, cafe and bakery as part of a major expansion, is just a part of the story that central Victoria has to tell.

‘‘The judges were really impressed with our cooking school and the way we’re able to talk about the region,’’ Mr Sandercock said.

‘‘We operate regular classes that give people genuine knowledge and skills, but we also teach them about local and seasonal produce.’’

Mr Sandercock said Daylesford and Macedon Ranges Tourism’s ongoing support was crucial to the business’s success.

‘‘Tourism is not just about having a big waterslide; it’s about being able to tell stories about the area.

‘‘What’s important to us is that the whole region benefits. If it’s just us, we won’t survive.’’