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How to Help Customers Find Listed Your Food Products on Google

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.

  1. Wordstream
  2. Semrush
  3. Answer The Public
  4. Ahrefs Keyword Generator
  5. Moz Keyword Explorer

2. Craft Descriptive Titles

Sample: how to write product titles

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

Sample how to write product description.png

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

Sample of optimised 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!

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6 Benefits Of Taking Your Food Business Online

Is Online Food Business: Still Worth It?

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 significantly 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.

Benefits

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 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. Stay 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, ensuring your customers can shop at their convenience- a win-win for you 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 expenses 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; some people find they can run their business successfully from home.

5. Easy to Manage

Perhaps you feel you don’t have the technology expertise you need 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.

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Business resources Business startup Local Foodies' Corner

Food Businesses Thriving Through Collaboration

Charmaine’s Success Story in Nowra NSW.

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.

Charmaine’s Story

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.

Charmaime’s fresh, free-range eggs

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17 Cost-effective Strategies to Promote Your Online Food business

Strategies to Promote your Online Food business

If you are a small food business, promoting your online business cost-effectively is non-negotiable. Having a business is one thing; getting people to know your business exists is another ball game. Sometimes, a business owner might think having their products on an e-commerce website or online food market will automatically bring customers their way. On lucky days, this can be true, but most often, you need to put in some work, as no platform understands your products or what’s unique about them better than you do. This comprehensive guide will walk you through 17 proven strategies to promote your online food business and build a successful brand. If you have any other strategies that have worked for your business, please share them in the comments section below.

1. Define Your Unique Selling Points ( USPs)

Your Unique Selling Points also known as USP are the qualities that make you different and appealing to your target customers. Knowing what sets you apart is the first step to building a successful online food business. Your USPs could be your secret recipes, locally sourced ingredients, environmental impact, or exceptional customer service.

  • Make a list of qualities that make your business different from everyone in the same business.
  • Highlight these aspects in your marketing materials and message.

2. Get An Online Storefront For your Food Business

Tap into the benefits of taking your food business online. You can consider setting up an online store on a local online market platform that supports you to effectively market your products locally, collaborate and possibly share resources with other businesses that complement yours.

Here are some steps you need to follow when setting up your food Business on a local online food market platform in Australia.

  • Sign up to create a storefront.
  • Customise your Storefront by adding a logo, banner image, business name and more.
  • List your product and ensure your USPs are reflected in the product description on your listings. Your product description should provide description information a buyer would need to make a buying decision. If you are not sure, ask a friend to help you.

3. Optimise for Local Search

  • Ensure that each of your product listings is optimised for local searches. List your products using the keywords that people will likely use when looking for your kind of product. Include your location in your listing description. The easiest way to do this is to think of what your potential buyers would ask search engines like Google — for example, home-cooked or Indian meals near me. Your description might say, “We provide delicious home-cooked Indian food in Nowra”.
  • Add your product name and location to the “Alt text” section when adding a product image to your Food Markies online market listing.
  • Learn How to Help Customers Find Your Food Products on Google and consistently implement the strategies you develop in the process. 

4. Leverage Social Media

Social media is a great place to promote your online store. Create engaging content, share appealing photos of your products, and use relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience. Platforms like Google Business Profile, Instagram and Facebook are particularly effective for visual marketing. Your social media strategy can include the following:

  • Adding your Food Markies online store link to your Google Business Profile, social media profile or bio, and posts.
  • Announce on your socials to let people in your network know you now have an online store. Encourage them to shop online with you when they can’t reach your location. Remember to craft your message in a social way that gets your audience curious about checking out your new store. Try not to sound like you are soliciting for sales. Otherwise, you may turn people off.
  • Stories about yourself, your staff, and your family (use caution, don’t give too much private information away, and keep it very general) usually interest people.
  • Use video to make connections with your audience. Behind-the-scenes, making of videos, setting up, packing down, and events videos are all interesting to people who love to watch processes. Video is the king of socials.
  • Give tips and how-to’s. People love tips and tricks. Sometimes, business owners are afraid if they show people what they do, no one will buy their products. It’s not accurate. Seeing how much love and passion goes into what you do makes your products more valuable.
  • Always add the link to your online store in your social posts.

5. Always Engage with your Customers

  • Always respond to customer queries, complaints and feedback promptly. It is essential because it will impact how others see your business and their opinion of you. Customer service still matters to your customers.

6. Consistency is Key

  • Regular promotion of your online store will help shoppers remember you as the go-to business for products you offer. Out of sight can be out of mind. Large corporations use consistent brand promotion to condition consumers’ minds to associate their brands with the products or services they promote. Remember, it takes time.

7. Encourage Customer Reviews

  • Ask your happy customers to leave reviews on your Google or socials. Positive reviews are gold when building trust with customers and future customers.
  • Ask your loyal customers if they will do a video review — you can offer them incentives in exchange if necessary.

8. Customer Generated Content

  • Encourage customers to share their food experiences on social media with a unique hashtag. Repost customer content featuring your products from your online store, and don’t forget to tag and thank them)

9. Collaboration

  • Collaborate with other businesses. Organise cross-promotion on each other’s socials. You promote their business, and they promote yours.
  • Partner with local food bloggers or influencers. They can review your online food business and share it with their followers, giving you more visibility.

10. Loyalty Programs

  • Customers love loyalty programs, especially if they feel they are getting something for free. Reward your loyal customers with free items, first tastes, or trial products.
  • Host a monthly prize draw (even better if you do this with other food businesses) and spread the news through your socials.

11. Special Promotions

  • Offer incentives to attract new customers, such as free delivery for the first ten orders.
  • Provide free samples of unique products for orders over a certain amount to encourage existing customers to try your new items.
  • Implement weekly sales on select products to drive sales and create a sense of urgency.
  • Offer limited-time promotions, like discounts on certain days or combo meal deals. Everyone loves a good deal, and it can attract new customers.

12. Email Marketing

  • Send out regular emails to your customers. Include special discounts and offers exclusively to your email customers.
  • Keep customers up to date on new menu items, special offers and the latest information on your local online business.

13. Monitor and Adapt

  • Paying attention to your analytics will help you understand what is working and what isn’t, allowing you to put more time into those things. ‘
  • Set time frames for marketing/promotion strategies. Don’t chop and change; put enough time into a new idea to see it work. You don’t want to give your customers/followers a concussion.

14. Personalised “Thank You” Cards.

  • Pop a handwritten note or card into your customer’s order.
  • Include a discount on their next order, or introduce a new customer discount or gift.

15. Spread the Word Locally

  • Print flyers, posters, or business cards with your website URL and QR code that takes customers directly to your shop on Food Markies online market
  • Include your print material in your customers’ order package. You can also ask other businesses you collaborate with to give them to their customers.
  • Distribute them in public social places like community event centres or do a letterbox drop in your locality.

16. Packaging and Branding

  • Invest in attractive and branded packaging to create a memorable unboxing experience for customers.
  • Use consistent branding across all marketing materials. It reinforces brand recognition and creates a strong brand identity.

17. Content Marketing

  • Consider adding a blog page to your store on Food Markies or submitting your content to the editorial team for additional content marketing opportunities. Blog content is useful in referring customers searching for information about products your food business offers.

Remember, promoting your online food store is an ongoing process. Keep learning, adapting, and engaging with your customers. With your incredible products and a commitment to some time to promote your business, your

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30 Essential Tools A Chef Can’t Live Without

A good chef can’t do without good tools in the kitchen. Whether you’re making fancy dishes or simple ones, having the right things helps. In this guide, we’ll show you 30 important tools every chef should have. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to cooking or a pro; these tools are great for your kitchen! Let’s check out the list, starting with the most important ones.

  1. Chef’s Knife
  2. Cutting Board
  3. Measuring Cups and Spoons
  4. Honing Steel
  5. Spatulas
  6. Chef’s Bag
  7. Tongs
  8. Kitchen Shears (scissors)
  9. Mixing Bowls
  10. Whisk
  1. Paring Knife
  2. Strainer/Sieve
  3. Thermometers
  4. Mixing Spoons
  5. Peeler
  6. Garlic Press
  7. Chef’s Uniform and Apron
  8. Oven Mitts or Pot Holders
  9. Colander
  10. Blender/Food Process
  1. Rolling Pin
  2. Mandoline
  3. Pepper Mill and Salt Grinder
  4. Microplane
  5. Pastry Brush
  6. Salad Spinner
  7. Can Opener
  8. Markers
  9. Kitchen Scale
  10. Utility Knife

1. Chef’s Knife

This one goes without saying: a chef’s knife is the cornerstone of any kitchen. Its versatility in chopping, slicing, and dicing makes it an absolute must-have for every chef. A high-quality chef’s knife is your trusted companion, from precision cuts to swift mincing. Chef knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you’re interested in finding the perfect one for you, check out our comprehensive chef knife guide

2. Cutting Board

Pair your chef’s knife with a durable cutting board. Wooden or plastic, choose one that suits your preferences, ensuring a clean and hygienic surface for food preparation. It’s also worth exploring Bamboo cutting boards, which are very environmentally friendly and more stain/liquid resistant than traditional wooden cutting boards!

3. Measuring Cups and Spoons

Precision is paramount in cooking and baking. With exact measurements, you can perfectly recreate your fabulous creations and follow a good recipe. 

4. Honing Steel

Keep your knives sharp and long-lasting with your own honing steel! Although it may seem counter-intuitive, a sharp knife is much safer than a dull or blunt one! Making sure to periodically hone your knives will also ensure they last longer, saving money in the long run!

5. Spatulas

Both solid and slotted spatulas are your partners for flawless flipping, stirring, and serving. Whether for making deserts of savoury sauces, a solid spatula ensures no wastage! 

6. Chef’s Bag

Keep your essential tools organised and ready, ensuring you’re always cooking with confidence, whether in your kitchen or on a culinary adventure.

7. Tongs

A versatile and reliable tool for flipping, tossing, and serving. Perfect for cooking steaks, meats and much more!

8. Kitchen Shears (scissors)

From snipping herbs to tackling packaging, versatile kitchen shears are your culinary multitool.

9. Mixing Bowls

Mixing bowls these days are often multifunctional and can be used for mixing, marinating, and preparing a host of delectable dishes. You’ll often find all types of mixing bowls in my fridge, prepping for tonight’s dinner! 

10. Whisk

Whether you’re making chef basics like an omelette or something more delectable.

11. Paring Knife:

The paring knife is a smaller, more refined version of the chef knife, perfect for delicate tasks like peeling, trimming, and creating intricate garnishes.

12. Strainer/Sieve

Drain liquids and sift dry ingredients with precision. Make sure to add this to your kitchen! 

13. Thermometers

Cook with confidence using instant-read and probe thermometers, ensuring your dishes are cooked to perfection and reduce the chances of foodborne illnesses. 

14. Mixing Spoons

Wooden or silicone, these utensils are essential for stirring, mixing, and scraping. Perfectly paired with mixing bowls! 

15. Peeler

Can’t get your head around a paring knife? Easily peel fruits and vegetables for effortless prep with a peeler! 

16. Garlic Press

Not a fan of stinky garlic fingers? Avoid cutting and smashing garlic with a garlic press! Effortlessly mince garlic cloves for robust flavour in your dishes. 

17. Chef’s Uniform and Apron

Dress the part and protect your attire with a comfortable chef’s uniform and apron.

18. Oven Mitts or Pot Holders

There’s nothing worse than burning your hands in the kitchen. Protect your hands from hot surfaces while handling pots and pans with oven mitts and pot holders.

19. Colander

Drain pasta, wash vegetables, and more with this kitchen workhorse.

20. Blender/Food Processor

Blend, puree, and process ingredients for sauces and soups more easily with your blender/food processor. 

21. Rolling Pin

An iconic kitchen tool, a rolling pin is a must-have for creating perfectly rolled dough for pastries and baked goods.

22. Mandoline

Kitchen mandoline can quickly slice ingredients, achieving uniform slices of fruits and vegetables for stunning presentations.

23. Pepper Mill and Salt Grinder

Elevate your dishes with freshly ground pepper and salt, the two most important ingredients in savour cooking.

24. Microplane

Grate spices, zest citrus, and add texture to your creations. Leave behind the bitter pith of citrus fruits.

25. Pastry Brush

Apply sauces, butter, and egg washes for that perfect finishing touch. A must-have for any kitchen! 

26. Salad Spinner

Don’t dilute your greens with excessive water. Use a salad spinner to rinse and dry greens and vegetables effortlessly. Perfect for making crispy, delicious salads! 

27. Can Opener

Not all cans are created equal. Some need a can opener! Open canned goods with ease for quick and convenient prep.

28. Markers

Labelling and marking ingredients and sauces is an important part of any chef’s day as they keep your kitchen organised and safe! 

29. Kitchen Scale

Kitchen scales are a super handy utensil for any chef, ensuring precise measurements for baking and cooking success. Reduce cleanup by mixing in a single bowl! 

30. Utility Knife

Designed to be lightweight and easy to use, a utility knife is a versatile mid-sized knife for a variety of cutting tasks.

Conclusion:

Start with these 30 important tools, and you’ll be ready to tackle any cooking job. These tools, like a good knife and a chef’s bag, help you become a great cook. So, whether you’re making fancy dishes or family favourites, you’ve got the right tools for the job.

Do you think we missed any tools? Let us know in the comments!

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Family fun games Local Foodies' Corner

16 Food Activities Families Can Do in Nowra on a Rainy Day.

Isn’t it lovely to be out with our kids on the beach, in the park or somewhere fun on a nice sunny day? I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for new, family fun activities to do with my kids when it’s raining here in Nowra. Something different, something fun that will both entertain and teach them new skills. A Rainy or windy day can provide the perfect opportunity for indoor food adventures filled with creativity, laughter and joy.

On a rainy day, you and your family can engage in any of these 16 enjoyable food-based activities.

  1. Homemade Pizza Challenge
  2. Build Your Own Tacos
  3. Local online shopping
  4. Baking Cookies
  5. DIY Ice Cream Sundaes
  6. Cupcake Decorating
  7. Pasta Making
  8. Smoothie Creations
  9. Fruit Fondue
  10. Fruit punch Mixing
  11. International Food Adventure
  12. Homemade Pretzels
  13. Chocolate-Making Workshop:
  14. Indoor Picnic:
  15. Recipe Swap Challenge
  16. Food Art
  1. Homemade Pizza Challenge

Set up a pizza-making station with pre-made dough, a variety of sauces, cheeses, olives,  toppings and more. Let each family member create their personalised pizzas. Which family member has made the funniest-looking or tastiest pizza?

2. Build Your Own Tacos

I don’t know about your kids, but mine love it when they get to make their own. Lay out various taco fillings like seasoned meats, beans, cheeses, veggies, and sauces for everyone to make theirs.

3. Local online shopping

You can explore Nowra’s local online food market and shop for artisanal food products or ingredients with small businesses who are passionate about the quality of their product.

  1. DIY Ice Cream Sundaes

Create an ice cream sundae bar with various flavours, toppings, sauces, and whipped cream. Let everyone build their dream sundaes. For the little ones, have the ice cream already in bowls and let them add toppings.

5. Cupcake Decorating

Bake a batch of cupcakes and have a decorating contest with colourful frosting, sprinkles, edible glitter, and other fun toppings.

6. Pasta Making

If you have a pasta maker, try making fresh pasta together. Alternatively, create your pasta shapes using cookie cutters and have a pasta-cooking and sauce-making competition.

7. Smoothie Creations

If you have a variety of fruit at home, let each person choose their combination. Blend up each person’s choice. Compare flavours by holding a blind taste test. Make it fun and have a good laugh together.

  1. Fruit Fondue

Prepare a variety of fruits and melt chocolate or caramel for dipping. Enjoy a fondue-style dessert as you dip and enjoy the sweet treats. (Just make sure your toppings aren’t too warm!)

  1. Fruit Punch Mixes

Create fruit punch using different fruit juices, sodas, and garnishes. Have a taste-testing competition to see who can create the best concoction. Using fruit and herbs frozen in ice cubes can add an extra special touch.

10. International Food Adventure

Choose a country or culture and explore its cuisine. Cook dishes together that represent that culture, learn about its food traditions, and watch a movie set in that country. For example, Ratatouille – France.

11. Homemade Pretzels

Make soft pretzels from scratch and experiment with different toppings like cheese, cinnamon sugar, and various dips.

12. Chocolate-Making Workshop

Melt chocolate and pour it into moulds to create your own homemade chocolates. You can add nuts, dried fruits, or other flavourings.

13. Indoor Picnic 

Spread out a blanket on the living room floor and prepare a picnic-style spread with sandwiches, snacks, and finger foods.

14. Recipe Swap Challenge

Have each family member find a recipe online or from a cookbook, then take turns making each other’s chosen recipes.

  1. Food Art 

Use various ingredients to create edible art. Think fruit kebab sculptures, vegetable animals, or even arranging snacks to create a larger image. There are some great ideas online!

16. Baking Biscuits 

Whip up a batch of biscuit dough and have a baking competition to see who can create the most creative and delicious cookies. If your kids are too young to bake, you can let them explore their creativity by working out age-appropriate things for them to do with the cookies.

Hey, at the end of the day, it is about having fun together. Let us know in the comments below if you have some great ideas we haven’t thought of.

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Food & Well being Local Foodies' Corner Uncategorized

Shoalhaven’s First Waste-Free ‘Milk On Tap’


Hear the gush of your fresh milk flowing effortlessly from a clean tap. You don’t have to imagine it; milk on tap is already here in the Shoalhaven region!

We’ve got some fantastic news that will change how you think about buying your family’s milk. Nowra has stepped up to the plate and become an early pioneer in New South Wales to offer Milk On Tap. 

Imagine strolling into your favourite local organic food store in Nowra and discovering a whole new way to enjoy your daily milk. Thanks to a remarkable innovation by The Udder Way, a Tasmanian company, you can now experience Tilba Dairy Jersey Milk on tap right here in Nowra! But what makes this even more important is that It’s clean and green.

This means that every drop of that creamy, delicious Jersey milk goodness is delivered to you without a hint of waste. Not a single bit of waste! It is a win-win for both consumers of milk and the environment.

Have you ever thought about the plastic waste that comes from milk? It’s been a tricky issue because fresh milk has strict regulations, and finding alternatives was no easy feat. But guess what? The Udder Way and Bomo Bulk have tackled this head-on. Charlie Tindall, the sales representative from The Udder Way in Tasmania, shared, “With the option of bottle reuse, you’re now only having to pay for the milk.” That’s right – the extra costs tied to glass bottling have been eliminated, making it a more affordable and eco-friendly choice.

When they did the maths, they found that by making this switch, more than 72 individual plastic bottles were not wasted in the first few weeks of implementation, and more plastic will be reduced as more people switch over. With the potential of 432 bottles saved per week, it is estimated that would save approximately 22,464 plastic bottles from landfill each year. Isn’t that incredible?

The amazing person behind this latest innovation is none other than a local businesswoman, Jessica from Bomo Bulk, who we are so fortunate to have as one of the vendors on Food Markies’ local online market. Bomo Bulk has been your go-to destination in Nowra for all things organic food for the past two years. So, it was only natural for them to take the lead in offering a waste-free milk refilling station. Now, you can grab a glass milk bottle and fill it up over and over again with Tilba Dairy’s delicious creamy Jersey milk. No more dealing with plastic milk bottles that pile up in our rubbish bins.

Jessica shared that having fresh milk on tap had been part of her vision since opening her store. However, she had been unable to implement it until she found a business that could collaborate with her to make her vision a reality. Once she learned of the Udder Way’s innovative patent system,  talks began, and with the Tilba Dairy on board, fresh milk on tap became a reality.

We congratulate Jessica and Bomo Bulk for their incredible impact by being the first milk on tap in Shoalhaven and reducing our waste. 

Let us know what you think about the fresh milk on the milk tap concept. Leave a comment below.

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Food & Well being Local Foodies' Corner Uncategorized

The Story Behind Vasa’s Epicurean Food Legacy

Vasa grew up as a farmer in a small village in Northern Macedonia, where she grew tobacco and many fruits and vegetables, including chillies, leeks, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, sunflowers, and cucumbers, which she would take to the market each week with her family. It also supplied their family with fresh and nutritious food.

When Vasa moved to Australia with her husband Vojo in 1969, she continued the food-growing traditions they had learnt while growing up by planting a large range of vegetables in their Sydney backyard. 

She loved great-tasting food and would source many heirlooms and heritage varieties of each type to ensure she could match the flavours she had as a kid. She would share that love with others and give bags of homegrown food to family and friends when they visited. 

Her love for eating fresh, homegrown food didn’t stop there! In 2001, Vasa and Vojo bought a small farm in Wandandian, where they expanded their food growing by planting over a quarter acre of vegetables in their garden, including over 150 fruit and nut trees….as a hobby, all dug and picked by hand.

Vasa’s influence rubbed off onto her son Vele, who was always helping with their garden and property infrastructure needs, and he too found that eating homegrown was far better for physical and mental health, especially when all things were done using manual methods, digging and planting by hand.

As garlic was a family dinner table favourite, in 2018, her son Vele began his first test crop of garlic on the Wandandian property. What he discovered was that Vasa and Vojo had had no success growing garlic due to the wrong seed having been sourced. Vele’s trial was a success, leading him to expand his garlic farm over the last few seasons and sell it through online food markets like Food Markies. Ensuring that Vasa’s legacy would continue throughout the community.

In 2022, Vasa sold her Wandandian property and moved closer to her son’s farm near Cooma, where together, they continued growing garlic. Vele launched the new business “Garlic Kingdom Australia“, which grows and distributes for several local growers and anticipates that 1.5 tonnes will be grown in the 2023 season.

Vasa’s passion and love for great food have influenced Vele and her family, friends and the local community. Vele would like to thank those who are in the Garlic Kingdom‘s grower network and all the customers who have bought their products throughout the years. He is so grateful for your support of his family and the garlic he grows.

Would you like to read inspiring stories about individuals in the Shoalhaven region who are making a difference in our local food scene? Or Is there someone you know whose story deserves to be told? Please leave a comment below.

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Food & Well being

From Seeds to Friendships: The Power of Community Gardens In Nowra

It’s so great to share the amazing concept of community gardens with you. Have you ever heard of them or been part of one? They are an awesome way to connect with nature and your community. Imagine cultivating the earth, exchanging gardening tips, growing plants, and connecting with your neighbours. I think it’s such a wonderful way to connect with nature and the people in your area.

So, why are community gardens so amazing? Well, for starters, they’re like green havens in the midst of urban areas. They’re perfect for people who don’t have their own yards to get their hands dirty, learn about gardening, and experience the joy of growing their food. They’re also a great way to meet new people and share stories while strengthening the bonds that make a community special. For example, I was at the North Nowra community garden sometime last year to help get rid of stinky bugs from the citrus trees. To be honest,  I didn’t know what they were or how to get rid of the Stinky bugs when I volunteered on the group chat. Thanks to some of the amazing group members who gave me some clues but guess what? Information and experience are two different ball games entirely. 

Some Stinky bugs we got rid of.

When I got to the garden, I put on my gloves and protective eyeglasses and got to work. It took forever as I was being careful not to get sprayed by the bugs. Luckily, a lovely lady- Christine, joined me. Oh my gosh! Christine was super experienced with Stinky bugs and got them off the trees like a pro. And me? I learnt from the pro! We talked, worked and laughed together. In no time, we were done! Luckily, I didn’t get sprayed. We connected so well and became friends. Later, we discovered we had much in common, including the local church we both attended and our love for supporting Multicultural communities in the Shoalhaven region. Small world. Isn’t it?  

There is so much you can learn to do through community gardens. If you are new and wondering how to make friends or meet people in your new area, Community gardens are great for connecting with everyday people to learn and understand your new community’s norms, values and culture. They promote sustainable food practices, like composting and reducing waste, which makes them great for the environment. And let’s not forget about the beauty they add to the neighbourhood!

If you’re in Nowra, NSW and interested in joining a community garden, there are a few options you might want to explore. 

These are great places to learn, grow and connect with fellow gardeners. You can also call 1300 293 111 to check with the Shoalhaven City Council for information on community gardens.  

Do you happen to know of any other community gardens around Nowra area that I haven’t mentioned? Or, are there other benefits of community gardens you think I omitted? Please add the missing pieces or share your thoughts and experience in the comment section below. Sharing is caring!

If you found this article helpful, please share it with a friend who could benefit. And, if you have any topics you’d like me to cover on my food blog, please leave a comment. Thank you for reading!

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Food & Well being Local Foodies' Corner Uncategorized

Winter Warmers: How to Stay Healthy While Enjoying Your Favourite Comfort Foods

As the chilly weather sets in, there’s nothing like indulging in comforting foods that warm the body and soul. Grab a coffee or tea, and let’s explore the science behind comfort foods and easy tips for staying healthy in winter.

The Science Behind Comfort Food

Have you ever wondered why certain foods can uplift our spirits and make us feel better? It turns out there’s a scientific explanation behind it.

Comfort foods, often associated with nostalgic and sentimental value, can trigger the release of feel-good chemicals in our brains. They provide a sense of familiarity, security and emotional satisfaction. It may be a special soup or casserole your mum made whenever you were feeling under the weather as a child or a grandparent’s home cooking.

comfort food

Indulging in comfort foods doesn’t have to mean compromising your health. With a few mindful choices and creative tweaks, you can enjoy your favourite comfort foods while nourishing your body through the cooler months.

Why Do I Eat More in Winter?

You’re not alone if you find yourself eating more during colder months. During winter, many of us experience an increased appetite and find ourselves craving heartier, calorie-rich foods. There are several reasons why this occurs:

  1. Reduced sunlight exposure during winter affects our circadian rhythms and can lead to hormonal changes. The decrease in daylight hours can disrupt the balance of hormones that regulate appetite, such as leptin and ghrelin. As a result, we may feel hungrier and have a stronger urge to consume more food.
  2. Some people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs during winter. SAD can lead to increased cravings for carbohydrates and sugary foods, as these can temporarily boost serotonin levels and improve mood.
  3. Cold weather and shorter days can limit outdoor activities and reduce our overall physical activity levels. With less movement and exercise, our calorie expenditure decreases, leading to a potential imbalance between calorie intake and energy expenditure.

Understanding the reasons behind your increased winter appetite can help you make informed choices and maintain a healthy balance.

While it’s natural to crave more food during this time, it’s important to prioritise nutrient-dense meals and incorporate a variety of local fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins into your diet. By listening to your body, being mindful of portion sizes and engaging in regular physical activity, you can enjoy the comforts of winter while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Tips for Staying Healthy in Winter

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during winter is essential for overall well-being. Here are some practical tips to help you stay on track:

  1. Prioritise nutrient-rich foods: Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins into your meals. These foods provide essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support your immune system and energise you.
  1. Stay hydrated: It’s easy to forget about drinking enough water during colder months. However, staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining optimal bodily functions. Warm herbal teas, soups and broths are excellent alternatives to ensure you stay hydrated while enjoying comforting beverages.
  1. Stay active: Don’t let the winter chill discourage you from staying active. Keep moving with indoor exercises, try a new workout routine or embrace the cold with a brisk walk in the fresh air. Regular physical activity helps boost your mood and keeps your body strong.
  1. Get adequate rest: Winter is the perfect time to prioritise rest and rejuvenation. Ensure you sleep well each night; quality rest is vital for your immune system and overall well-being.

Winter Wellness: Embrace the Power of Superfoods for a Healthy Season

Incorporating nutrient-dense superfoods into your diet during winter is a great way to support your overall health and well-being. These powerhouse foods are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system, fight off winter illnesses and boost energy levels.

Some of the best superfoods to consider during this time include dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, which are rich in vitamins A, C and K. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits provide a hefty dose of vitamin C, known for its immune-boosting properties. By incorporating these winter superfoods into your diet, you can support your body’s natural defence system and maintain optimal health throughout the season. Read more about what superfoods are and why you need them.

Best Australian Winter Comfort Foods

If you’re ready for some inspiration for the kitchen, these are the best comfort foods guaranteed to warm you up this winter:

Soup: Not only is soup a cost-effective meal that will feed the whole family, but it’s also a healthy choice, with many soups packed with vegetables and a hearty broth. While chicken and vegetable soup is a classic, why not try Thai spiced pumpkin soup for a chilli kick or a creamy cauliflower soup for something different?

2. Casseroles and bakes: Try a comfort food staple that offers a delightful combination of tender meat and hearty vegetables, like a smokey tomato chicken bake or a beef stroganoff, that will warm you from the inside out.

3. Curries: Nothing warms you up faster than a spicy Thai red chicken curry or an Indian vegetable curry with chickpeas. Curry is a perfect choice for winter as its generous use of warming spices like ginger, turmeric and chilli not only adds depth of flavour but also helps to keep you warm.

4. Something sweet: Don’t forget to enjoy a special dessert now and then to warm up, like a delicious sticky date pudding or chocolate fondant.

If you’re looking for a convenient way to enjoy these winter comfort foods without compromising taste and nutrition, ready-made meal services like Gourmet Dinner Service have you covered. With their expertise in slow-cooked stews and casseroles, spicy curries and nourishing soups, you can experience the best comfort food without the hassle of cooking from scratch.

Author Bio

Johanna O’Sullivan is a Marketing and Communications Manager at Gourmet Dinner Service. With a background in economics, a passion for food, and expertise in nutrition, she helps customers achieve their wellness goals. Johanna is an experienced writer and contributor to online publications specialising in health. She loves cooking from scratch with healthy ingredients & values fresh, ready-to-eat meals for their convenience.