our kitchen rules in the heart of beef country
From little things big thing grow, goes the saying, and Casino-based business All The Best Fine Foods is certainly proof that humble beginnings can lead to recognition on a national scale.
Maureen Lynch’s home kitchen is where it all started. She was a goddess of cooking among her family and friends, who encouraged her to go into business with her talents. The result is a range of gourmet-style packaged products that include flavour-enhanced vinegars, mustards, savoury jams, relishes, chutneys, pickles, jams and sweet preserves.
Maureen describes the transition from passion to profession as “a steep learning curve”, yet All The Best Fine Foods has gone from strength to strength since it began life in 2006.
Back then, the idea was to showcase Maureen’s delicious wares at local markets such as Lismore Car Boot Market and Grafton Jacaranda Festival.
“This gave us a customer base and led to approaches from delicatessens wanting to stock our products,” says Maureen. “In turn this led to us having the confidence to go out and approach stores ourselves.”
All The Best Fine Foods now has a strong presence at Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival and the legendary Casino Beef Week, among others. What’s more, Maureen’s products have won silver and bronze medals at the Sydney Fine Food Show, while one of Australia’s most illustrious chefs, Justin North, was so impressed that he stocked 10 of Maureen’s products in his boutique Sydney deli, Quarter21.
Maureen puts much of the business’s success down to the burgeoning Northern Rivers region, as both a business and tourist destination.
“There is a real interest in people knowing the source of their food and meeting the people who make that food. People are discerning with their tastes and will go to great lengths to order things that appeal to them – we post jars of chutney to Western Australia.”
Maureen’s business has also been aided by the local food industry group, Northern Rivers Food, a body that has, she says, “made a huge difference in learning how to run a food business. The networking opportunities were an immense help.”
And the other essential ingredients for running a successful food business in the Northern Rivers? Simply quality and persistence.
“Make sure you have a good product that people want, and don’t give up.”