WHAT started as a side hustle to get fussy toddlers to try new food has turned into a business lifesaver.
Rutherglen-based Savoy Truffle Co branched out into home-delivered family meals 12 months ago, supplementing its core wholesale food venture supplying North East cafes and restaurants.
Now with much of the hospitality sector impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, the home-delivered meals have become a godsend.
Founder and chef Kate Akrap said the idea grew out of her mother's group where time-poor families were looking for ways to get nutritious meals on the table during the week.
"It started out as toddler food but then their parents started eating it too!" she quipped.
"We've been offering the family packs for 12 months now."
Savoy Truffle Co meals - think Malaysian chicken laksa with herbs, rice, noodles and nuts and Rutherglen red wine braised beef with baked potato gratin and garlic greens and fruit and nut dark chocolate muesli bars - are testament to Akrap's chef pedigree.
Having grown up at Corowa, Akrap started her career at Tuileries Restaurant at Rutherglen and worked her way up to esteemed Melbourne restaurant Mecca.
Since returning to the North East, she has worked at Beaumont's Cafe and Jones Winery and Vineyard Restaurant at Rutherglen.
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Together with partner Joe Duncan, Akrap wanted to find a way to mix her passion for cooking with raising their young family, Clementine, 3, and Sullivan, almost 2.
They founded the business when their youngest was four months.
"It was always something we'd wanted to do," Mr Duncan said.
"We wanted to do something where we could still put family first."
Akrap said they offered three dishes a week inspired by North East produce.
"We're trying to promote local and seasonal food through our menu," Akrap said.
"We grow a lot of produce ourselves, we use lamb from Jillamatong (Corowa) and La Bella Rocca (Wangaratta)."
Each week Savoy Truffle Co offers a soup for delivery on Tuesday and a family-sized main dish and dessert for delivery on Thursday.
Online platform Cookaborough emails menus on Saturday for the soup, main and dessert.
People have until Monday at 8pm to order. Meals are delivered on Tuesday and Thursday between 3pm-5.30pm in the Rutherglen-Wahgunyah-Corowa region.
Savoy Truffle Co
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