Putting their distinctive stamp on the Highfields Motel incorporating Lily’s Restaurant, recent arrivals
Bruce and Heidi Ryman are no strangers to the Toowoomba area. They have chosen to bring their
extensive hospitality acumen to Highfields because of the community feel and the prospects of
collaborations with the local producers. Bruce and Heidi have many years of successful business
practice across regional and rural parts of the country, but have chosen this particular corner of the
Downs in which to invest their time, energy and skills. How lucky is Highfields!
Energy bounces from Bruce at an incredible pace as he enthuses about his former lives from butcher’s
shop, caravan parks, to Far North Qld, to previous motel in Toowoomba to various spots along the
Murray River in what he describes as a gypsy business life. The experience this dynamic couple brings to
each business venture ensures a creative and community approach.
Highfields and its surrounding growth area has seen Bruce and Heidi exploring, discovering and
interacting with the abundance of primary produce, the producers and the potential that is offers.
Exciting projects are in train, at the same time as establishing the quality standards of the Motel and the
seasonal treats on the menu for Lily’s Restaurant. A tall order, but a challenge they are both embracing
with open arms.
To progress the vision of local collaborations with producers of more exotic or unfamiliar food, the
Rymans are enticing the palettes of the market goers. The freshly produced sauces, pastas and
conserves are on offer at the Cobb and Co Farmers Markets in Toowoomba on Saturday mornings. The
sourcing of fresh locally grown produce for making the market range, or on the plates at the restaurant,
has become the factor that brings the discerning foodies, and Bruce and Heidi are proactively giving
them the tastes they are craving.
Highfields Motel has the monopoly on accommodation in Highfields and is ideally located on the
outskirts of Toowoomba, absorbing the great demand from its overflow.
Bruce is excited by the potential of the collaboration with the growers, and the flow of information
amongst the ‘hamlet type village communities’. Already relationships have sprung up with, among
others, Top of the Range Mushrooms, Peacehaven, Hampton Hamlets collective businesses,
Bannockbrae, Stoney’s Fish, and the Highfields and District Business Club and others wanting to work
Bruce and Heidi believe “We are well-positioned to see ourselves in 2 or 3 years as an integral part of
the wedding and events scene because of Lily’s paddock to Plate seasonal menu, the accommodation
and the genuine collaboration with our local producers.”
The vision of Highfields and District becoming a year-long destination is clear and gathering pace
because of its rarely found, but burgeoning, potential, and Bruce and Heidi have so much to offer in
bringing that vision to a collaborative reality. This is a spot to watch!
Blog by Molly B