Meet Stacey, the small business owner of All Good Grub, a catering business in Perth WA that incorporates local Indigenous ingredients into typical catering food to give it a unique twist.
Stacey had the business idea for All Good Grub for a few years and decided that if she didn’t take the leap to bring her idea to life, she would regret it. In early 2021, Stacey started her catering business from her home kitchen and community centre. She loves sharing her culture through food and earning money by doing something that she loves.
“Without Colin I don’t think that I would be where I am today, and I cannot recommend him more. I cannot speak highly enough of that guy, and I thank my lucky stars that our paths crossed and that we get to go on this journey together.”
Recently, All Good Grub was featured in The Western Australian and Stacey was overwhelmed with support and sales that followed.
Read more about All Good Grub and Stacey’s business journey so far.
My business is a bush tucker catering company using Indigenous native herbs and ingredients, which I incorporate into everyday food that people would like for corporate catering.
The idea of using Indigenous ingredients with catering food was bought to me by a friend of mine in 2019. I did some gigs for her events. At the time, I wasn’t in the headspace to turn it into a business. I had a few events lined up in early 2020 before they were cancelled because of COVID-19.
So, I had thought about this business idea for a couple of years, but at the beginning of 2021, I decided if I didn’t do something more with it, I would regret it. If nothing came of it, at least I gave it a go.
I did my first couple of events in July 2021 with the help of a friend who is an accountant, and she wanted a couple of platters for her clients.
I had little to no capital behind me to start off with, but that’s how I wanted it.
I kept testing out ingredients for new products, and I had a stall at a small business expo supported by my Many Rivers business coach, Colin.
That small business owner won an award and was interviewed by the Western Australian. He mentioned my name in the story, and then the Western Australian reached out to me to do a story on me too. It has blown up. Within a week I had booked out for November. I even had a couple of gigs in December even though that is when businesses wrap up for the year. I had a plan to really get the momentum going early 2022 but this newspaper article pushed it all forward for me. The response has been very exciting and slightly overwhelming! Some of the corporations that have reached out are quite considerable and significant. These include; Royal Lifesaving Society, Maar Koodjal, Indigenous Services Australia, National Native Title Council, Wood Australia, Netball WA and many others.
I do not have any employees at the moment but it won’t be long into 2022 when I will be seriously considering employing people. It will have to happen as my business picks up. At the moment, I am managing with the support of my family.
Deciding to be a Small Business Owner
I have always worked with food. Before I had kids, I worked in kitchens and for a catering company. I delivered food and gave a helping hand in the kitchen. Then I had my kids and was a stay-at-home mum for 13 years. I did a lot of volunteering, including managing their school canteen.
I worked at the state government for four years, and then I worked in the kitchen in a mine site for a few years, and then had a position in the office there. That role gave me some admin experience that I have found useful in setting up my own business.
It wasn’t so much about being a business owner, but I just that I love cooking and I love feeding people. So, I guess that’s where it comes from. It is about being able to do something that I love and not having a mundane job that I don’t want to have to go to. There is so much interest in the Indigenous part of my business. Even for me now in my 40s, I am still learning about my culture, it wasn’t something that I learnt growing up, and it definitely wasn’t something that was taught when I was in school.
It came down to wanting to do something that I love doing that isn’t just a chore to bring in money, and the fact that the demand is there for my services.
Working with Many Rivers
I had a close family friend that gave me a lot of encouragement about my business idea and ensured me that there was a demand for this service. She told me about Many Rivers and all the wonderful ways they are able to help and support people like me with a business idea but not much of a clue in how to go about it. I was looking through a notebook of ideas, and on a random page all by itself were the words “Many Rivers” that’s when I realised I had written it down in 2019 and a year and a half later opening that notebook again told me the timing was right and I had to make contact with the organisation. It is the best thing I have done for myself and my business – and they sent me the one and only, Mr Extraordinaire Colin Long.
I started with Many Rivers in February 2021. Colin has helped with my business plan and all aspects of setting up my business. He has been amazing!
Everything! Colin has been absolutely amazing; he is so funny, and I love his sense of humour. I love working with him, and he is so knowledgeable on everything. He is really easy to talk to and work with and any question that I have – he is always there, and he has the answer.
He works in a way where you come up with the idea or answer yourself, but he has planted the seed to help guide me to that idea. It’s not like he is telling me what to do. Without Colin, I don’t think that I would be where I am today, and I cannot recommend him more. I cannot speak highly enough of that guy, and I thank my lucky stars that our paths crossed and that we get to go on this journey together.
I am going with the flow at the moment and with the mindset that ‘if it’s meant to happen, it meant to happen’. I guess the biggest challenge that I could face soon is managing employees and managing a commercial kitchen.
Just getting my name out there. I see it all as a success so far. This is really exciting, and I can’t believe that I have my own business, and it looks like it will be successful. Just the fact I am working for myself is the biggest success so far.
There hasn’t been much change for us; we just go on with life and see it happen. It is great to see how proud my family are.
I would love to be able to work out of my own commercial kitchen and be able to empower aboriginal people to work with me and build skills for their future. At the moment, I am working out of my home kitchen, and I also use the kitchen at my Aboriginal Associations’ community centre. I hope to get more clients, which leads to being regular and loyal clients and that will allow me to take my business to the next stage.
The response after the article ran in the West Australian is giving me so many clients. Now that I am getting my food out there, I am getting more and more referrals. I did a small catering gig yesterday, and within a few hours, a lady called me to say that her husband tasted my food at the event and had recommended me.
Thanks, Stacey for sharing your business journey. Your story will inspire people who are looking to take their next step towards creating their own business. If you would like to stay updated with All Good Grub and her journey as a small business owner, follow All Good Grub on Facebook or Instagram.
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