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Growing More Than Grapes

“We are mindful that as we grow, we create more ways for our staff to grow and they enjoy being part of something we can all be proud of.” Libby Cupitt, Cupitt’s Estate

When Rosie and Griff Cupitt sold their business in the Southern Highlands and bought a dairy farm in Milton in 2001, they never imagined it could be what it is today. Initially they planned to raise cattle when Rosie’s love of wine and gardening led her to study viticulture and eventually start a vineyard.

From there, one thing led to another and Cupitt’s Estate opened its doors in 2007. It now employs over 95 people in a range of roles from Marketing, Finance, HR, Events, Admin, Front of House, Housekeeping, Sales, Cellar door, Wine Making, Brewing, Food and Drink Service/Preparation, Maintenance, Groundskeeping and more.

Their sons Tom and Wally and Tom’s wife Libby are now also involved in the thriving business – bringing their skills to the table as well.

“We have achieved so much together,” reflects Libby Cupitt.

“Being a family business, we are able to move forward and make changes quite quickly, which has been crucial over the challenging past few years.”

The bushfires, floods and COVID pandemic presented unique challenges for this hospitality-based business but they adapted and overcame by pushing on with projects – using the downtime to do much needed renovations.

The community were grateful to return to a beautiful hub of activity and enjoy the many opportunities it has created.

Young people are encouraged to participate in the innovative ‘gap year program’ where they can try out a variety of roles around the Estate while earning a living.

Libby describes their people as ‘enthusiastic’:

“We hire based on people’s energy, behaviours and core values and we train from there.”

“It’s common for people to start in one area and move into new roles. Mel for example, started as a waitress before getting involved in events and marketing before becoming People & Culture Manager, while Jen started in our Wine Club and admin before we supported her to do an MBA and eventually take on the chief financial role.”

“We are working toward profit sharing schemes, so salaries can grow as we do and on setting up a ‘Cupitt Family Foundation’ – to fundraise for our local community.”

“We are an ‘Employer of Choice’ due to our positive culture, employee reward and recognition programs and for the cross pollination of roles where people get to have a variety of experiences that help them appreciate what everyone brings to the business.”

Its easy to see why Cupitt’s ‘Employer Brand’ is strong and why local schools/skills programs are eager to partner with this successful regional business.

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