First LuvaBerry nailed the war on berry waste, then it conquered freeze-dried berry products. Now it’s connecting local food businesses through its latest project - Farm Gate. Co-owner Mandy Schultz says COVID-19 forced the cancellation of food events she would usually attend, and gave her the opportunity to consider LuvaBerry’s next big ideas.
“It gave me the chance to sit on the veranda and think about things,” she says.
“Innovating a different version has worked.”
Farm Gate brings together locally sourced fresh produce, including gourmet salads, honey and goat cheese, with customers able to order online then collect their goodies at the farm on Sundays.
Peckish Picking sessions mean people can still enjoy foraging for their own strawberries, with numbers at each session limited to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.
Mandy’s ability to pivot to meet this year’s challenges and maintain the success of existing projects have earnt her spots as a finalist in four categories of this year’s AusMumpreneur Awards.
Presented by The Women’s Business School, the awards celebrate Australian mums in business achieving outstanding success in areas such as business excellence, product development, customer service and digital innovation.
She’s shortlisted in the Product Innovation, Food & Beverage, Sustainability, and Regional Business categories of the awards.
“I’m really pleased, particularly getting into four categories, because it shows that we have grown and continued to evolve – and that we have had something to contribute to our region,” Mandy says.
Another aspect of which Mandy is justifiably proud is that she has been able to connect fellow berry growers with companies such as jam manufacturers, who are seeking less than perfect fruit.
“They haven’t been able to get imports from overseas, and there’s no way I could fill an order for 20 tonnes, so I have been able to collaborate to meet that need,” she says.
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