What’s the inspiration behind your recipe, and can you recall the moment the idea was born?
My mother was the inspiration for this recipe. The recipe was born many years ago in southern Italy and when I was a teenager the recipe was passed down to me. I thought of marketing the product many years ago, but I didn't know where to start. I always thought it would be nice to see the product in a store and see other people being able to enjoy them as much as my family has growing up.
Who do you think your recipe is perfect for?
I think my recipe is perfect for a wide demographic. They can work as a snack, appetiser, side dish. The biggest thing is the variety of flavours, there is something that will entice everybody - even vegetarians. They are great for anyone 1-100.
How has your recipe evolved since the first time you made it, and what were the challenges of preparing a commercial quantity?
I am proud to say that the recipe has stayed true to its traditional form. It has definitely evolved and been refined a little, yet has the same taste, ingredients, and process from the day that I was taught. Over the years I have furthered the recipe by adding additional flavours - the original being parmesan cheese and parsley, and I have added a cheese and bacon and also a sweet potato version. That's not all though, there are many more flavours I have in mind!
The challenges for preparing for a commercial quantity was purely the magnitude of the process. The calculations of all the ingredients and ensuring that although a large quantity was being made, still there was no compromise on quality of ingredients or production - this was important to me!
What was the best piece of advice you received from the judges?
The best piece of advice I got from the judges was to use my Italian name Concetta as the brand name, and to keep the recipe real and authentic!
What was the most surprising thing you learnt about the process of turning a recipe into a commercial product?
The most surprising thing for me was the amount of people that were involved in the process of the production of the commercial quantity, not only to make it all happen but to make sure Australian Consumers were getting a nutritional product.
From your experience, what advice what you give someone who has an idea but doesn’t know where to start trying to make a success out of it?
My advise would be, to ensure the product is marketable and within realistic reach and guidelines. Try to approach people in the right industry, but always follow the correct procedures. Never give up and keep promoting your idea.
What does the future hold for yourself and your recipe? Any other great ideas in the pipeline you could give us a taster of?
I hope this recipe is the beginning of a new product line for me that can be in supermarkets. I have not only other flavours for the croquettes but many other recipes I would love to share with Australia.
Here are a few recipes that go well with Concetta's Croqs.