BOTHWELL – By Cari Doutre – March 26, 2020
On three acres of land in the farming and agricultural community of Bothwell, just west of Tremonton, Eleni Roberts runs a small business based on selling all-natural, high quality, cruelty-free products from animals – alpacas to be exact.
To be more specific, Eleni owns 25 alpacas that she raises for a variety of products. Those alpacas provide most of the revenue for her booming business – and it’s all done with the upmost respect for those animals.
Avalon Alpaca is the name Eleni chose for her business. The name was inspired by her favorite book, “The Mists of Avalon,” and all the alpacas she owns are named after a character in the book.
The basis of Avalon Alpaca isn’t too complicated but the process of creating and producing products to sell is something that requires plenty of skill and knowledge. More than just that, however, Eleni stands by her business model to appreciate the natural beauty of alpacas by creating luxurious products and they do so with great respect for the animals that provide this opportunity.
Eleni uses the hair, or fiber, of her alpacas to be made into various kinds of materials that can be used in this all-natural form. Raw material (taken straight off the alpaca) is sheered, cleaned and sent to a processor. From there it can be made into yarn with a spinner or used for whatever purpose needed.
The alpaca fiber can be knitted or crocheted into clothing, accessories and more. From blankets to dry-rite dryer balls, the possibilities are endless on what can be created with this unique and cozy fiber.
There’s even a store-front location for Avalon Alpaca, located on her property in Bothwell. The perfectly sized and designed structure has ready-to-use products such as hats, dish clothes, alpaca yarn and novelty yarns - not from alpacas but still great as a fuzzy or chunky type of yarn.
In any industry, in any business, there’s almost always a network of like-minded people ready to support each other. There’s even a network of local people and businesses specializing in alpacas and alpaca products that work together – and Avalon Alpaca is part of one local network.
Eleni focuses on the fiber end of the industry while others in her network focus on breeding or selling alpacas. One member of the network just focuses on loving alpacas and keeps them as her pets, offering support by supplying the fiber sheered from her animals.
Together they formed their own yarn company called JEMMA – Julie, Eleni, Marie and Michelle.
This partnership has allowed them to sell more products with a bigger variety of color and options. They even get together from time to time to dye the yarn and discuss all things alpaca related.
“We really try to help each other,” Eleni said.
Eleni isn’t exclusive to the alpaca fiber industry. She has also joined forces with Cody Roche, owner Mountain View Nursery in Elwood. This partnership has allowed Eleni to branch out into angora goat fiber and products, something Roche specializes in.
Sticking to products made from alpacas, Eleni has branched out into another aspect of this business – fertilizer made from all-natural alpaca manure.
That’s right, alpaca poop. And why not?
“This fertilizer is great because it’s not as hot as cow or chicken manure, so you don’t have to compost it or do anything to it,” Eleni said.
Eleni explained that the bags of alpaca fertilizer are to be placed in a bucket of water and left there overnight. After that the fertilizer can be used for plants, right then and there.
“It’s high in nutrients. It’s not hot so it doesn’t burn the plants and it helps the plants keep the moisture in,” she added.
It’s a new product that Avalon Alpaca just recently started marketing and selling but Eleni stands behind the benefits of her fertilizer.
Eleni sells one cup bags or two-pound bags of alpaca fertilizer. They can be purchased at her location in Bothwell – 11684 N. 9200 W., or at Mountain View Nursery in Elwood – 10195 N. 4400 W.
But don’t worry, Eleni has help when it comes to “collecting” the fertilizer.
“I scoop the poop!” Added Jeff Roberts, her husband, with a laugh. He does more than that to help his wife and Avalon Alpaca – he helps care for the animals too.
Eleni’s brother, Peter, will also happily chip in and help when needed.
Want to see Avalon Alpaca up close and personal and purchase products at their Bothwell site? Call or email them to make an appointment.
Call or text: (801) 688-7057
Or, if you want to see more from the comforts of your home? Avalon Alpaca has a sleek and user-friendly website for customers to browse through her selection of items for sale and to learn more about them.
Find Avalon Alpaca on Facebook and follow their page for new products, updates, pictures and more.