For Jenny and Kevin Flanagan it was simple: any new products and business had to reflect their ideals, and they wanted to work with people who shared the same principles.
Having run their value-added fresh-produce business since the mid 1980s, the Brisbane couple have spent the past few years investigating different avenues to diversify.
Kevin said, “Our Family Fresh business supplies fresh cut fruit to Woolworths, but there can be challenges with seasonality in that, so we kept trying different things for a few years, experimenting to see what worked." Five years ago they found “what worked”.
After more meticulous R&D and endless knocking on doors, they launched their new dairy-free vegan products in March 2018.
Six months later the business had grown ten-fold. And in November 2018, they won the Gold Coast Business Excellence Award for Emerging Business.
“After one lot of research I was talking to a distributor who asked if we could do cheese. I thought ‘no’, but did a bit more research, and then went and talked to our staff.
“I said in a team meeting that we were going to make dairy-free cheese. Well, they thought I was going nuts!”
With their years of food experience behind them, the Flanagans developed a vegan cheese, finally testing the market at the 2017 Naturally Good trade show in Sydney.