In today’s fast-paced world, where everyone is always in a hurry, cooking can often feel like a daunting task, especially after a long day at work. However, just because you are pressed for time, it does not mean that you must settle for bland, uninspiring meals. Instead, you can whip up a delicious and nutritious meal in no time using simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
We love this Tuna curry because it is simple, healthy and delicious. Made with pantry staples like tinned tuna and pineapple, it is perfect for nights when you’ve had a long day and haven’t prepared anything for the family.
Microwave Sweet Tuna Curry
2 medium-sized onions peeled and sliced.
1 packet of Dutch curry and rice soup
1 ¾ cups milk
1 can (450g) pineapple pieces, drained
1 can (425g) tuna, drained and flaked.
Cooked rice or pappadums for serving.
Add the sliced onions and microwave on medium-high for 1 minute.
Stir in the Dutch curry and rice soup mix and milk. Microwave on medium-high for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the drained pineapple pieces and flaked tuna—microwave on medium-high for an additional 5 minutes.
Allow the curry to stand for 2 minutes before serving with rice or pappadams.
Is tuna or pineapple missing in your pantry at the moment? it doesn’t matter. Substitute with other ingredients you have in the pantry like tinned salmon, vegetables or other pantry items that work and come out with another quick and delicious meal. You can adjust the amount of curry powder and milk to make it spicy or creamy. Also, you can add other ingredients like herbs to give it a different flavour profile.
Cooking at home can help you avoid the high prices and unhealthy ingredients often found in fast food and takeout meals.
Do you have a go-to family favourite meal? Let us know in the comments.
Andrew Harrington is passionate about food. An ambitious cook who developed his senses on how flavours work as he fostered the evolving palates of his young family, they are now grown up and amazing cooks themselves. Andrew has lived around the world and learned more about the cooking styles and flavours of several international cuisines, spending his time watching great chefs work and listening to their insights on flavour profiles. Now Andrew is making those insights and flavour profiles available to us all with the growing offerings of PetitsTresors.com.au – providing niche Little Treasures – both the ingredients for wonderful meals at home, for holiday supplies and gifts, as well as recipe suggestions to go with them.
Having your products listed on a local online food market or a stand-alone store is just half the battle. The other half is how to help potential customers easily find your products, and that’s where Google comes into play. Google is the most popular search engine, making it invaluable for your business. Optimising your product listings for Google to show potential buyers will enhance your rankings.
We have compiled eight top tips that can help you make your product stand out on Google and help customers find your business easily.
1. Keyword Research is Key
If you’re looking to optimise your website, the first step is to conduct thorough keyword research. This may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty simple. Start by thinking of common search terms that potential customers might use when looking for your products or services. For instance, if you sell chemical-free produce on Food Markies, include keywords like “homegrown” and “chemical-free” in your titles and descriptions. There are simple ways you can learn to do keyword research for your products. Some free tools are great for discovering relevant, high-traffic keywords that can help boost your storefront’s visibility and attract more customers.
Here is a list of free and paid keyword research tools small food business owners in Australia can use.
When it comes to selling your product, the first thing you want to get right is the title. This is the first thing that Google and your potential customers see! So, make sure your title is descriptive, concise, and includes your primary keywords. For example, instead of just saying “carrots,” a better title would be “homegrown carrot – organic, chemical-free.” So, when a potential customer is searching specifically for “homegrown carrots near me” or “organic carrots near me.” Google will give preference to an online store with this specific term rather than a general term. Also, you would have distinguished yours from the hundreds of thousands of carrots sold online.
3. Create Detailed Descriptions
When it comes to selling products, the way you describe them can make all the difference. You want to make sure you’re providing enough information so that potential customers can fully understand what they’re getting, but you also want to make it interesting and engaging. Don’t be afraid to get detailed and explain all the features and benefits of your product. Show your customers how your product can solve their problems or fulfil their needs.
Of course, you also want to make sure your product descriptions are optimized for search engines. That means incorporating your keywords in a natural way without resorting to keyword stuffing- when you use the same keywords over and over again in a piece of content for search engine optimisation. (which can actually harm your rankings). And if you’re targeting a local market, be sure to include your location in the description. This can give you a big advantage when people are searching for products or services in your area.
4. High-quality images Are a Must
Quality images are essential for creating a good impression of your products on both Google and your customers. To showcase your products in the best possible way, make sure to include clear, well-lit images from different angles. Also, when adding an image to your Food Markies store listing, don’t forget to add relevant keywords and location to the “Alt text” section. By doing so, you can help your products stand out and attract more potential customers.
5. Leverage Customer Reviews
Did you know that positive customer reviews can boost your product’s click-through rate and build trust among potential buyers? Encouraging your customers to leave reviews and displaying them prominently on your product pages can help improve your products’ appeal to Google for display.
6. Optimise Your URL Structure
Did you know that the structure of your product URLs can have a big impact on how well your website performs on search engines like Google? It’s important to keep your URLs clean and concise and include your primary keywords. For example, instead of using alphanumeric characters, a URL like “foodmarkies.shop/homegrown-organic-carrots” is much more search-engine-friendly. You don’t have to worry about this when your products are listed on a marketplace like Food Markies. The platform automatically takes care of this aspect so you can focus on creating amazing products!
7. Link your Food Markies online shop URL to Google My Business and your social media channels
Another way to help customers find your Food Markies online shop is by linking your unique storefront URL (or website link) to Google My Business. By doing so, you’ll make it much easier for potential customers searching on Google to find your business and place an order with you, even if they can’t visit your physical location.
Mobile Optimisation is Non-Negotiable
Nowadays, mobile phones have become the go-to device for searching the internet. And that’s why Google gives priority to mobile-friendly websites. Luckily, Food Markies’ online storefronts are designed to be easily accessible on both desktop and mobile. This means your product listings are just a tap away from your customers!
Whether you run a physical store or sell at nearby local markets, fairs, or events, having an online store, especially on a community-focused food marketplace can greatly enhance and sustain ongoing success, especially in recent times. Expanding or taking your food business online can benefit your growth in several ways. Here are six ways it can help your business thrive.
1. Reach More People
A local online store creates opportunities for products to reach a broader audience than those able to visit your physical location. Adding an online store to your business gives your customers multiple options to shop and access your products. It expands your customer base to accommodate the time-poor in your local area
2. Simplify your operation
A local online shop also offers your customers the convenience of looking through your product range before ordering or visiting your business. This can also be an added benefit of reducing interrupting phone calls to your store, allowing you to focus on your in-store customers.
3. Open 24/7
It can be hard to keep a physical shop open 24/7. However, your online shop is not restricted to daylight hours. It remains open every hour of the day and night, which ensures your customers can shop at their convenience- a win-win for both yourself and your business.
4. Less Stress, Lower Costs
An online business has fewer overheads than a physical store where you have to factor in the cost of rent, electricity and many other costs associated with brick-and-mortar shops. Running a food business online can be generally cheaper, and your revenue can grow at a compounding rate. The need for physical space is reduced, and some people find that they can run their business successfully from home.
5. Easy to Manage
Perhaps you feel you don’t have the technology expertise that would be needed to set up an e-commerce food store. There are locally-focused grocery marketplace platforms like Food Markies, where you can easily sign up, personalise your store and sell groceries, home-made meals, fresh produce and other food-related products in your local area. They provide the core features to sell your food products without overwhelming you.
6. Adapt to Changing Times
Over recent years, we have seen a shift in how people shop. Many young people and busy professionals love the convenience of online shopping, including food shopping. Creating an online presence ensures you can tap into current trends to build your business in changing markets.
Thank you for reading. Are there topics related to starting or managing a thriving online food business you’d like us to address? Leave a comment below.
Can you see the benefit of food businesses collaborating? We believe that this not only helps businesses grow, It also benefits customers.
We have seen this many times, and this is one example. Last month, Charmaine, the owner of “Touch of Charm”, who also has an online shop selling her flowers and homegrown veg on the Food Markies local online market, had her products for sale on our Nowra Fresh Food Market stall. As I looked over her display of fresh flowers and eggs and veg, I noticed her range had grown and quite surprisingly, she had another brand of eggs next to hers. As the afternoon progressed, I saw that she put equal effort into promoting both brands of eggs, her homegrown grown flowers and her online shop to the market customers. Charmaine then shared her inspiring story about how her business grew beyond her backyard to some land at Nowra Hill, working with another business rather than against them.
We also learned that the business Charmaine was collaborating with also had a stall that day, and they had Charmaine’s eggs on their market stall. This meant an added benefit to customers: if they missed out on buying from Charmaine, they could still purchase her eggs at the other end of the market.
This method of business collaboration reminds us of how the Igbo tribe in Nigeria work together as a network to grow small retail businesses into large, successful enterprises that become major distributors, exporters, or importers of products they specialise in.
Charmaine’s story is truly inspiring, and Australian small businesses can adopt this strategy to become more resilient. Here is Charmaine’s story in her own words.
Hi! My name is Charmaine, and I am a small business owner who grows and sells flowers, eggs and vegetables in my backyard. But when I found myself running out of space, I turned to Facebook and asked if anyone had an acre or so of land locally that I could rent. I was shocked and pleased that many people were willing to help me out! The Shoalhaven really is a very supportive community.
Netty responded to my request and offered me a place in Nowra Hill. Since then, Netty and I have been collaborating on a new venture called Ohana Meadows, where we are growing more flowers, vegetables and chickens. We’ve also invested in sheep and pigs together.
What I love about this venture is that we were both on the same page straight away! It can be hard starting things yourself, but working together is amazing. Each of us has different strengths which enhance the work together.
Our ultimate goal is to have a garden stall, hold market days to allow other growers and makers to share their amazing products and one day host beautiful weddings. Our dream is for Ohana Meadows to be self-sustainable while creating a place where people can buy local homegrown produce that’s good for both them and the environment.
Times are tough at the moment, between financial issues and the lack of rain- and Netty and I still have a long way to go, but if people work together, we will survive this hard time and grow something more beautiful than we imagined.