Wyadup Brook Cottages was established in December 1996 but the story starts long before that. This family run business has been an in-house project from inception to completion and it all began with Helmut(Tom) and Doris Ritter.
The 250 acre farm that is home to Wyadup Brook Cottages was purchased in 1955 by Helmut Ritter. Helmut had travelled to Perth, Western Australia from Germany to work as a carpenter in 1954 leaving his fiance, Doris Benz, in Germany with the promise that he would return to marry her and they would make their new home in Australia.
Helmut was soon changed to Tom as Australians found his first name difficult to pronounce correctly.
So, Tom worked in Perth for a short time and then teamed up with another carpenter and worked in the wheatbelt region constructing State Housing Homes,saving all his hard earnt cash in readiness to buy a farm. By the end of 1955 he had purchased the property in Yallingup and then returned to Germany. Tom and Doris were married in September 1956 and the honeymoon was the return boat trip to Perth. Work was still hard to get in the city so they moved south to Shannon River, near Manjimup. Angela, their first child was born at the Pemberton District Hospital. They then spent a short time in Busselton before permanently moving to the Yallingup property in 1958. Three more daughters followed, Judith, Monica and Virginia. Judith, decided during her thesis year at university to tackle a "real" project, and thus Wyadup Brook Cottages evolved. The thesis was completed in 1989 but that was of course the easy part. Once the reality of finance was assessed again, the designs were re-done and by December 1996, four cottages were open for business. The fifth cottage was completed in March 2001, and the sixth cottage opened in 2010.
Over the years, this Yallingup property has been a dairy cattle farm from 1958 to the early 1970's, when milk quotas were introduced and farming needed to be more productive to be financially viable. To achieve this, the herd became beef cattle and Tom returned to work off the farm in his trade - carpentry.
Judith and husband, Mark, manage the day to day mechanics of the business and Tom and Doris help with maintainence and cleaning. It is still all in-house with Tom and Mark attending to any new items of furniture as they are needed.
We hope that you will enjoy being part of this story too.
Rest In Peace
Tom Ritter 6th September 2009
Rebecca our special pony 5th January 2017
Tess, our much loved Border Collie, 5th May 2020