The biscuit company is building an AU$1.7m (US$1.28m) factory with an extra production line and an area to make gluten-free biscuits in the town of Donald (approximately 200km [175m] from Melbourne) in Victoria.
Last year, its sales received a paradoxical boost after retail giant Woolworth decided to stop stocking the biscuits in stores outside Victoria and Tasmania. Ironically, the potentially devastating decision produced such a backlash that sales took off.
“Woolworths didn’t change their decision not to stock the biscuits, but it created such a social media storm and so much other attention that people started buying direct while other outlets contacted us to sell our products,” said Damian O’Toole, Kooka’s production manager.
“Sales went up and we reached capacity at our current location, hence the need to expand.”
The Victorian Government is contributing $350,000 towards the new build, which is expected to create up to 11 new jobs.
“The town’s all for it, more jobs means more money that’s produced here and stays here,” said O’Toole.
Kooka’s Country Cookies was founded in 1994, supplying home-style biscuits to the town of Donald and surrounding districts. From a staff of five, Kooka’s has grown to 25 employees making biscuits for millions of consumers across Australia.
The company uses all Australian biscuit flour, jam, raw products and Australian produced packaging for its products.