Vale Grant Paech

The death of Beenenberg founder Grant Paech on Monday gives us all a reason to not only celebrate a wonderful life but to also acknowledge a man who combined two rare traits – an outstanding work ethic and a sharp mind open to opportunity.
Mr Paech and his wife Carol developed an internationally recognised company from  a backyard strawberry patch in a corner of their diary farm and a roadside stall selling homemade jam.
They might have remained struggling farmers were it not for Mr Paech’s ability to both recognise and seize an opportunity to develop a business which would ultimately change the lives of hundreds of people for the better.
Now under the tutelage of his three children Robert (farm manager), Anthony (managing director) and Sally (marketing manager), Beerenberg has expanded to manufacture much more than jams – which it exports to 25 countries – and its range now includes sauces and condiments.
A story in this edition of The Courier reveals how the company is now expanding into selling exclusive high-end tableware.
It is a business that is moving forward and looking for opportunities – just as its founder would have done.
Yet despite its modern global reach and influence, its roots are firmly entrenched in the Hahndorf community.
The Paech family has been living in Hahndorf for six generations and the business has a philanthropic arm which injects money and enthusiasm back into the historic town where it reigns as a local hero.
It provides many jobs and the massive $14m expansion to develop a distribution centre, warehouse and factory upgrade, which is underway behind the current factory, is a testament to the strong ties Beerenberg has to Hahndorf.
Most households have a jar of a Beerenberg product tucked away in the pantry.
So, even though it may have sat there untouched for months, now is the time to dust off the lid and remember a man who had a massive impact on his local community, a significant impact on SA and who played an important role in helping to place Australia’s food industry onto the international stage.
So let’s toast the life of Grant Paech – with a piece of toast and a delicious jam, of course.