Church Farm General Store: Handmade goodness in northern NSW

After turning an old country church into a home, this couple discovered the beauty and possibilities of their land.
Photography Chris Warnes / Styling Natalie Walton

Shortly after Amanda Cullen and Andrew Morris moved to a small town in northern NSW their land started to over-produce. In a smart move, the couple decided to sell their vegetables from a roadside stall. What started as a fun project offering cucumbers, homemade sauces and soaps to locals and passers-by soon turned into a thriving online business – Church Farm General Store was born.

Who lives here?

Amanda Callan and Andrew Morris of Church Farm General Store.

What they do: Create soaps and sauces using natural ingredients from a parcel of land in northern NSW.

Where: Billnudgel, NSW.

Why they do it: “I love working with all of the materials – the herbs, flowers, essential oils, clays,” says Amanda. “They are all such beautiful raw ingredients and being able to transform them into such a useable product is awesome.”

Visit: or @churchfarmgeneralstore on Instagram.

Church Farm General Store family greenhouse
(Credit: Photography: Chris Warnes / Styling Natalie Walton)

Just like the ingredients that make up their products – from soaps to sauces and curry pastes – the evolution of the Church Farm General Store has been truly organic.

When Amanda and her musician partner, Andrew, started growing extra produce in their front yard, they created a roadside stall that comprised a chair on a box with a sign, “cucumbers for sale”. Over time, it evolved into a timber hut, which Andrew built, and is now a thriving business. “We liked the idea of sharing our produce with the neighbours or people driving by,” says Amanda.

Their home certainly makes visitors to Billinudgel, in northern NSW, stop and look. A former church opposite the town’s main junction, it was first spotted in 2012 when the pair were on a country drive with Amanda’s parents. “I said, ‘Imagine if that church was for sale’ – and it was,” she recalls. Up until then, Amanda and Andrew had been living in a nearby coastal town after moving north from Sydney.

At the time, Amanda was pregnant with the couple’s first child, Banjo, who is now four. Today, their little family includes Percy, two, rescue dog Maggie, and a menagerie of chickens.

Church Farm General Store church building
(Credit: Photography: Chris Warnes / Styling Natalie Walton)

One summer after a bumper crop of tomatoes and chillies, Andrew roasted them over coals and made a hot sauce, which became popular among friends. This was added to their little market hut, as was a range of soaps – which the duo had been making for themselves – free from palm oil, synthetic fragrances and preservatives. Soon, shops were contacting them to stock their wares.

The sopa is poured into long slabs, which are then cut and packed.

“I stayed up one night making a website, as we thought it would be cool to send soaps by mail,” explains Amanda. “It sort of just grew from there.”

Church Farm general store soaps being cut by hand
Herbs grown on the property and a nearby parcel of land are used to create the distinct natural fragrances of Amanda and Andrew’s soaps. (Credit: Photography Chris Warnes / Styling Natalie Walton)

As the business began to expand, the couple hoped to convert an old butcher’s shop into their own store, but instead decided to farm a nearby acre of land and focus on selling their produce at the local farmers’ markets. However, interest from nearby stores and brands who wanted custom soaps continued to grow. “We’ve been really fortunate as most of our stockists have heard or seen our soaps somewhere and contacted us, so it has just had a really nice flow to it,” says Amanda.

Converted church home business
(Credit: Chris Warnes)

“Andrew is the sauce guy, he started making the hot sauce a couple of summers ago when we had heaps of chilli in the garden and since the he has made a few more sauces, and curry pastes.”

Amanda Callan, Church Farm General Store
Church Farm general store soaps
The couple’s soap is free from palm oil,, synthetic fragrances and preservatives. (Credit: Photography: Chris Warnes / Styling Natalie Walton)

The duo live and breathe the ethos of the brand “I remember when I first met Andrew, I thought he was a total dreamboat, because he used a natural aluminium-free roll-on deodorant, and a natural fragrance-free hemp moisturiser,” says Amanda. At the time she was working and studying to be a naturopath, and has recently resumed her studies in health science, while Andrew continues to play in his band The Wilson Pickers, between making batches of sauce. Today, the pair have a dedicated space – in nearby Mullumbimby – to make their soaps, rather than in their kitchen.

Church Farm General Store kitchen garden
Habanero chillies are one of the key ingredients for Church Farm sauce. (Credit: Photography: Chris Warnes / Styling Natalie Walton)

Amanda attributes the success of Church Farm General Store to the increasing appeal of natural products. “People are understanding the importance of what you put on your skin,” she explains. “You can feel the difference when using a handmade soap versus commercial soap. Things that take a little bit more effort are totally worth it.”

Church Farm General Store Amanda Callan
The couple live in a converted church with their two young boys, a place that they have restored with their own hands. (Credit: Photography: Chris Warnes / Styling Natalie Walton)

Find Church Farm General Store products on Home Beautiful Shop!

Church Farm General Store Eucalyptus with Australian black clay soap


Eucalyptus with Australian black clay soap

$24.90 Kinfolk and Co

Church Farm General Store rose and pink clay soap


Rose and pink clay soap

$24.90 Kinfolk and Co

Church Farm General Store Lemon myrtle and macadamia oil soap


Rose and pink clay soap

$24.90 Kinfolk and Co

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