WHEN a cafe regular asked about take-home meals after losing his wife, Sue Smith felt it was an honour to help.
The owner of Wodonga eatery, Cafe Elmwood, Sue said before long the take-home meal service had become a big part of the business.
"It started with five meals a week for him and it's grown 10-fold," she said.
"It's for people in all different circumstances; my friend gets seven a week because she's on her own.
"We offer a well-balanced meal for $12, which can go from fridge or freezer to microwave."
Having taken over Cafe Elmwood in May 2017, Sue said she knew straight away it was what she was put on earth to do.
Born and raised in Wangaratta and with a background in hospitality, Sue operated directional drills around the country for 15 years for her sister's business (Riverina Horizontal Drilling) before seeking a change.
"My sister sent me a photo of an ad in The Border Mail for a courier business which she thought sounded good but I liked the look on the cafe listed underneath it," Sue said.
Cafe Elmwood uses Honeybird Coffee beans.
MEET MORE HOMEGROWN CHEFS:
What's your favourite dish, Sue?
What's your favourite season?
What are the staples in your pantry now?
Flour, sugar, nuts (we do a lot of vegan dishes in the cafe), gluten-free products (my daughter is Coeliac), salt and spices.
Which ingredients do you grow yourself?
Herbs out the back and self-sown cherry tomatoes.
What is your earliest cooking memory?
My nan making scones in her combustion stove. She always had pots on the open fire, maybe warming milk for hot chocolate. She made a rice pudding with lots of custard. That's why I favour home-cooked-style food.
Which eight people would you invite to dinner?
Neighbours Marcus and Julie Grigg, friends Ross and Fiona, my sister and her husband Maxine and Keith Suter and I can't leave out my other sister and her husband, Jan and Paul Felmingham.
What is your favourite foodie ritual?
Meal-prepping for home.
What are you bingeing on TV? If anything.
What did you have for dinner last night?
Lasagne, my husband Daryl's favourite too.
What are you drinking at the moment?
291 Beechworth Road, Wodonga
Phone: (02) 6024 4077
Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here